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Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Bee stings on the backside! That was just the beginning. Tim was about to enter a world of the past, with bullying boys, stones and Indian spirits of long ago. But they were real spirits, real stones, very real memories…

In this powerful family saga, author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family’s move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, TX. Spanning 50 years, Salt
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published May 1st 2010)
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Before you read Tim Tingle's Saltypie to your child or students in your classroom or library, spend some time studying what Tingle says at the end of the book, on the pages titled "How Much Can We Tell Them?"

There, you'll learn a little about Tim's childhood, and some about his father, grandmother, the Choctaw Nation, and, the rock-throwing incident in the book. Here's an excerpt:

I always knew we were Choctaws, but as a child I never understood that we were Indians. The movies and books about In
Kara Stewart
This is the most beautiful children's book I have read in a long time. It is an example of a story that accurately reflects a Native culture (the Choctaw). There are many parts that will resonate with Native readers - and this is possible because the author himself is Choctaw.

Instructionally, this is an example of a complex text, both for the subjects and the vocabulary and sentence structure. The basic story line, a child's times with his grandmother, then grandmother going to the hospital, is
What a wonderful book I found. Tim tells the story of his grandmother, who taught him that whenever a bad thing happened, she called it Saltypie. She moved with her family to a little house in Oklahoma, stepped out on the porch the first morning to enjoy the beauty, and was hit on the head by a rock. Part of the story relays the family closeness brought by his grandmother’s attitude. Saltypie is what sometimes happens, but then how you deal with it is the important part. Tim Tingle’s great, grea ...more
For a children's book of fewer than 40 pages, Saltypie by Tim Tingle deals with very sophisticated topics: how do we make sense of negative experiences, how do we talk with others (especially children) about them, and what role does adversity play within personal, family, and community histories? Tingle shows a deep understanding that our choices on these points bring subsequent realities to life, influencing children's understanding of themselves, their self-esteem, and how people of different ...more
Sorry to anyone who reads this review, I'm writing this for a class I am taking.

Text-to-text connection: This book is a bit tricky to connect to another book, and I think that is a part of the cultural background that it comes from. The story to me seemed very disjointed and the was very little connection between each story. However, I think that is common in Native American story telling. Within that culture there is this pervasive idea that everything is connected, so even if two stories seem
Cynnea Schreibman
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light: Tingle, T., & Clarkson, K. (2010). Salty pie: A Choctaw journey from darkness into light. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle is a story about a six year old boy who gets a bee sting and his grandmother calls his hurt “saltypie”. This then brings back the memory and why she uses the word saltypie. A rock was thrown at her and her son so the blood coming out and thinking the bl
Samantha Stock
Multicultural book entry #2 (primary)

Text-to-text: In this book, the wisdom of the grandmother in the family is what the story is centered around. It reminded me of the book, "Love you Forever," not just because the illustrations were similar, but because the wisdom of the matriarch of the family is so gentle and beautifully presented. In this book, her grandson says, "Blind as she was, she taught so many how to see."

Text-to-self: I'm actually in a Native American Literature class right now, and
Starting with his childhood memories of his grandmother comforting him after being stung by a bee, Tingle then goes on to tell of her move to Pasadena, Texas from Oklahoma in 1915, and how, once there, as a young mother, she was hit in the eye by a rock thrown at her because she was an American Indian. How their Choctaw family dealt with that unprovoked hate crime and life’s other trial and disappointments carries forward to 1970 when an eye transplant enabled her to regain her sight.

You'll have to read the story to find out what "saltypie" is but the story is about one young Choctaw boy's affection for his grandmother (Mawmaw). The boy recognizes his grandmother to be a special Choctaw woman. He tells the story of his father's family moving from Oklahoma to Texas where Mawmaw experienced racism but she lets it go. The story jumps forward in time to events in the boy's life. The time when he was six that he discovered Mawmaw was blind. The shock that he felt that he didn't k ...more
...3 1/2....

Not only the book Saltypie, but the term Saltypie describes problems Tim Tingle’s Choctaw grandmother encountered in her life, from a small child to old age. The story is framed in stories told about the grandmother from various members of Tingle’s family. The collective creates a family history.

“My grandmother was a strong and special Choctaw woman,”and this beloved is the figure around which the story orbits. As one who could be seen as representative of ‘heritage’, hers is a herit
Joanna Thompson
Remembering: Who were the main characters?
Understanding: Describe what is meant by “salty pie.”
Applying: How is this story similar to Grandma’s Gift by Eric Velasquez?
Analyzing: What are the themes in this story? Explain why you picked these themes.
Evaluating: How would you have handled the stone situation if you were Mawmaw? How would you have handled the stone situation if you were her husband?
Creating: Create a new ending to the story. What do you predict will happen now that Mawmaw can see?
Ally Irwin
Tingle, T., & Clarkson, K. (2010). Saltypie: A Choctaw journey from darkness into light. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle is a story about a six year old boy who gets a bee sting and his grandmother calls his hurt “saltypie”. This then brings back the memory and why she uses the word saltypie. A rock was thrown at her and her son so the blood coming out and thinking the blood was pie filling, he tastes it and calls it “saltypi
Kodi Jones
Saltypie isn’t the typical children’s storybook; it offers many stories in one. Based on the life events of author Tim Tingle’s family, this remarkable book offers the audience an interesting look into the life of modern-day Native Americans that are supported by extensive color and wonderfully detailed illustrations. Tim Tingle tells the stories that his Mawmaw told him and his father of how the Tingle family came to be in Texas. Originally from Oklahoma, the story tells of the adversity Native ...more
Zether Zether
Salty pie was interesting. It was set back several years, but not so far back that it seemed out of reach. The title was fitting. Throughout the book, bad things happened. The boy gets stung; the mom's face gets cut because someone threw a rock at her; his mawmaw goes to the hospital.

The family refers to everything bad as salty pie. I found that very cute.

At one point in the book, the boy finds out his mawmaw is blind. He had never figured it out. I found that interesting. At the end of the boo
Both written and illustrated by native artists. The afterword, "How Much Can We Tell Them?" is the best part (thanks, Robin!).

Having recently discovered Debbie Reese's blog, I was glad to find a review: http://americanindiansinchildrenslite...
Whew. This one is rough in places, but in a way children could still understand (I'd say third grade up). Ultimately, the message of the story is hopeful, though. Prejudice certainly still exists, and I've found that of all the different groupings in the diversity section of my semester, Native American Indian is by far the most difficult one to find useful children's picturebooks for. There are a lot of books out there, but a truly remarkable number are either really stereotypical or even flat ...more
Ally Copper
In "Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light" by Tim Tingle, a young Choctaw-American boy reflects on the life his grandmother has lived. They spend time together feeding chickens and inspecting the eggs. The boy talks about the day when he was six and discovered that his grandmother was blind. He had never known! He also tells the story of his grandmother's moving from Oklahoma to Texas and the boy who threw a stone at her just because she was an Indian. The book culminates with his ...more
Illustrator: Karen Clarkson
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Year: 2010
Interest Level: 2-4
Reading Level: 3-4

Tingle, a Chocktaw Native American, shares a story from his family with emotive illustrations. The title comes from an event shared between Tim Tingle's grandmother and father when his father was a little boy. (You'll have to read it to find out.) This book is more a story about family with a child's history and values revealed than it is a cultural look at Native American life. Discrimination
I'm becoming such a fan of Tim Tingle. I'm sure that is in part due to the fact I've seen him tell stories in person. This book is one I chose as part of a small collection of "Peace" books. I teach lessons promoting Peace and anti-bullying behaviors based upon books from this small collection. Saltypie fits in so well. On first reading you feel a bit manipulated reading the text and viewing the illustrations. It feels a bit didactic, but it is NOT. I believe I'm reacting to my own bias with tha ...more
Nashwa M.
Tim Tingle, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, writes this outstanding Native-American picture book, SALTYPIE, that is not only heartwarming and entertaining, but serves to dispel many stereotypical myths about Native Americans, their history and their role in society today.

The book recounts Tim’s early childhood memories with his Mawmaw (grandmother) and her strong influence on his life. As the story begins, Tim is comforted by his Mawmaw after a painful bee sting that is shr
Apr 01, 2011 Hank rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: cats
Saltypie is the story of a Choctaw family from Oklahoma. The narrator tells the story as it centers on his grandmother, Mawmaw. The story opens with Mawmaw comforting the narrator by telling him his bee sting is 'some kind of saltypie'. Many years earlier, Mawmaw was the victim of a random, violent racist act; an unidentified boy threw a stone and hit her face. Her son comformts her with a hug and in doing so relates the blood to pie filling. The blood tastes salty, so he dubbed it 'saltypie'. S ...more
Megan Green
Saltypie is the story of a young Native American boy, and him slowly learning more and more about his families past. He starts by learning that his grandmother is blind, and how that occurred. His parents, and grandparents explain to him that his grandma is a Native American, and when she was growing up, not all people accepted that. Salty Pie gives a look into how Native American’s were treated and the difficulties that they had to grow through.
Apr 17, 2015 Cathy added it
Shelves: native-american
Tingle has created a heartwarming story that highlights memories and experiences that his family faced in this country as members of the Choctaw Nation. The theme of this narrative nonfiction book resonates with children. They can identify with the main character Tim, a grandmother's love and a family that supports one another in the good and bad times. The are enchanted by the message that the family saying "Saltypie" represents.
James Daniels
An American Native story of Choctaw people. The main character, a grandson that learns how to deal with the difficulties of pain and life. The character Maw maw his grandmother was very strong and wise. Maw Maw taught her grandson how to resolve pain and sorrow with laughter and the word (Saltypie). Maw maw would not allow hatred and meanness to destroy her spirit. Anything that hurt and destroy were considered 'Saltypie
Jillian Heise
The author's note/afterword in is book should be a required read for all teachers! Really...go get this book and read the end note, How Much Can We Really Tell Them?

The story itself was a little confusing to me because of the timeline jumping that wasn't totally clear as far as a linear story. It all came togther at the end, but read more like vignettes. A strong Native voice.
Katie Hall
Nov 18, 2015 Katie Hall marked it as to-read
Shelves: picture-books, top-20
Title: Salty Pie
Author: Tim Tingle
Illustrator: Karen Clarkson
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Date: June 1st 2010
Genre: Realistic Fiction
This is a heart-warming story that shows family relationships. I liked how this book tells the story of the words “Salty Pie.” I think this would be a great book to use for a lesson on family traditions or to discuss why families do and say what they do.
Emilce Guzman
Audience: This would be great for k-6 grade levels. This story is about Indian American history. It also includes the family dynamic which is an important value to Indian Americans.

Appeal:It would appeal to both boys and girls. The illustrations give the text a deeper meaning regarding the situations that the main character encountered as he grew up.

Application: This book would be used in a history lesson about American Indians. I would first bring up the topic about stereotypes and how they can
I liked this story and the illustrations. It was a little disjointed, but it worked for this book. I like the term "saltypie" being used to describe anything bad that happens. I think we all could use a word like this from time to time.
In this book, Tim Tingle writes about his grandmother, mawmaw, and her personal experiences as a Choctaw woman living at a time when hostility existed toward native americans. She is hit with a rock by someone unknown because of her culture and while she is crying and bleeding her son uses the term saltypie to describe her injury. From then on mawmaw refers to small injuries as saltypies. She overcomes much during her life,even blindness. I didn't really like this book because I found it to be c ...more
Audience: Good book for children from every different kind of background and gender. This book would be perfect for grades 3-5.

Appeal: Truthful. It is a raw and honest book that really leaves you thinking about how you treat people and how you will treat people. Get's children thinking about many different aspects of their lives and those around them.

Application: This book would be greatly beneficial during a social studies lesson, or even a language arts lesson. There is a lot of cultural diff
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Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a popular presenter at storytelling and folklore festivals across America. He was featured at the 2002 National Storytelling Festival. In 2004, he was a Teller-In-Residence at The International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle has requested a story by Tingle previous to his Annual State of the Nation ...more
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