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Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People
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Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Sitting Bull (c. 1831–1890) was one of the greatest Lakota/Sioux warriors and chiefs who ever lived. From Sitting Bull’s childhood—killing his first buffalo at age 10—to being named war chief to leading his people against the U.S. Army, Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People brings the story of the great chief to light. Sitting Bull was instrumental in the ...more
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is written in the imagined voice of Sitting Bull, born in 1831, who was a member of one of seven Lakota tribes, known by non-Natives as the Sioux. Sitting Bull was one of the greatest Lakota/Souix warriors, resisting for over twenty-five years the efforts of the U.S. Government to move the tribes to reservations (where the land was less desirable so the whites could have the better land - especially in the Black Hills - and also not have to worry about retribution by the Native America ...more
Alex  Baugh
After seeing all the references to Sitting Bull while reading In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, I decided to to read S.D. Nelson's Sitting Bull biography. Unlike most biographies narrated by a third person, Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of his People is told to us by the spirit of Sitting Bull himself.

Born in 1831, a member of the Hunkpapa band, one of the seven Lakota tribes of the Great Plains, Sitting Bull's was originally named Jumping Badger. At age 10, he
Maggie Elizabeth
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse-books
Sitting Bull-Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson is an American Indian Youth Literature Association (AILA) award winner. It is a nonfiction picture book for older readers that tells the story of Sitting Bull, a great Lakota/Sioux warrior and chief. The author, S.D. Nelson, is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and author of many children’s books. I discovered this book on the AILA website:
This powerful account of history and bea
Equal parts creative and depressing, this is a beautiful, bright, mixed media book that doesn’t pull punches in telling the story of Sitting Bull and his Lakota people at a tumultuous time in American history. What appears to be a picture book (which I checked out of the library children’s room) is a fairly thorough account of the life of a famous chief and what befell him at the hands of Western expansion. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say here: things do not end well.

My favorite aspec
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
As with his book on Red Cloud, Nelson, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, places texts and drawings over a background of old ledgers like the ones that the frontier forts would have used. In a note at the end of the book I learned that the forts and trading posts used to give old ledgers to the Native Americans for drawing in, which is why there are colored pencil drawings in the book interspersed with photos and quotes. Sitting Bull was quite the opposite of Red Cloud in that, while Red ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me chills. Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People is told from Sitting Bull's point of view- but as his ghost or spirit. Nelson captured the frustration he must have felt with the US Government and his fellow tribesmen. The US Government treated Native Americans horribly and this book highlights the frustration many must have felt over that, and their fellow tribesmen giving in and moving onto reservations giving up their traditions and turning to handouts. The ar ...more
This is an interesting first-person narration of Sitting Bull's life. The story is obviously sad but I think the kids who read it will be intrigued by this perspective, as we don't see it much in traditional history texts. The artwork in the book consists of Native art and old photographs, and helps paint a clear picture of the figures involved.

The crimes committed against Native people in this country were terrible, and this book does its best to show how European descendants were single-minde
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I feel so uninformed about Sitting Bull. I have heard of him but nothing more! This books is a short blurb of history telling Sitting Bull's life story, from the mouth of Sitting Bull. The pictures and the quotes and information are compelling. I don't understand why the US Government needed to sequester The Native Americans and put them on Reservations... it is all just astonishing to me! The US History of African Slavers infuriates me and Native American wrangling infuriates me too... Very inf ...more
Lauren Paolucci
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think this book is extremely important for not just young people, but for all people to read. This book gives you insight on the conflicts that existed between the Native Americans and Europeans who made their way to the Americas. The Europeans did not treat the Indians well at all. I do not think this subject is discussed enough in history classes growing up so it enlightened me on what really happened. Very interesting read with cool pictures of the Indian and European leaders!
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What we did to the Native Americans is horredous and inexcusable and will remain a blight on our nation's history until we address it head on in some way like we have with African Americans (though not all those problems are solved, at least we are aware that they need to be solved and some are taking steps to do so). This book lays that bare. Important. Required reading. Also, the first person presentation is compelling.
This book was the 2016 American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award Picture Book Honor Book -- though it's definitely aimed at older readers (lots of text).

The author is a descendant of Sitting Bull's people, and the story is told as if Sitting Bull himself is narrating the story.

I knew the general narrative of the white settlers' destruction of the buffalo and the people who previously lived on the land -- killing them, pushing them onto reservations, mistreating them, breaking
Jenna Weaver
The picture book Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People describes the interactions between Native American tribes with white Americans as those who had arrived from Europe began migrating west to acquire new land. The story is told in the style of a memoir from the perspective of Sitting Bull, chief of one of the Sioux tribe in the northern part of the United States. Sitting Bull describes the way Lakota tribe members lived and saw the world, how they first traded with the “wasi ...more
Taylor Manrique
This historical nonfiction story is an incredible representation of the mistreatment of Native American tribes in the United States. The story focuses specifically on the Lakota Sioux tribe and their famous leader, Sitting Bull. The Lakota Sioux are living peaceful lives in the Great Plains, that is until the U.S. army decides that they are going to take over their land to mine gold. The Sioux, with the help of some other tribes, fight long and hard against the white men, but end up falling shor ...more
Sue Edwards
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sitting Bull grew up among the Hunkpapa people, one of several bands that the whites later named the Sioux. He grew up on buffalo hunts and counting coup but he also grew up at a time when whites were pushing their way into Sioux territory. Once they arrived, they never left. It was the beginning of the end for the Sioux way of life.

That said, this isn’t a depressing book. Nelson has written a biography of Sitting Bull, the only Sioux to lead all seven Lakota tribes. He fought against Custer and
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nelson has written and illustrated a remarkable biography of this famous Sioux warrior. He writes as if he is Sitting Bull himself, from his early years, all the way through the Indian wars, treaties, victory at Little Bighorn, escape to Canada, surrender to the U.S. Army, traveling in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, to his death by Sioux who were reservation police. Included in the story are many photographs from the period.

An interesting aspect about this book is Nelson’s depiction of the story
Filled with lovely ledger-art images as well as archival photos, this beautifully designed book follows the life and times of Sitting Bull, the last great warrior and chief of the Lakota/Sioux. Because of his courage and leadership abilities, he was even given the title of war chief, a distinction never given to anyone before. The book covers his early years as well as his attempts to keep the white intruders from taking over his people's land. It also describes his involvement at the Battle of ...more
Michael Morley
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This remarkable biography of the great Indian chief Tatanka Iyotake, or as his tribal name, Sitting Bull, tells the tale of how he was a courageous and brave warrior and one of the greatest Lakota/Sioux leaders of all time. His life proved that backing down was something that was not an option, and never giving up on your own people was never an option. His story tells us that his people were never treated the way they should have been, and unfortunately Sitting Bull knew that, but he also knew ...more
James Potts
From just looking at the cover art of this book it looks to be about the Indian culture. Not only this but it looks like it tells a story behind the people that tried to talk over the Indian people. Just from looking at the illustrations it shows the Indian culture. It is showing older pictures of Indians and their art works. It tells the story of how the white man has come to live with the Indian man. It informs readers that the white man and the Indian man were going to share the land and shar ...more
Scott Southerland
This picture book tells the story of Sitting Bull, from the time of his youth to his death at the hands of Lakota 'policemen' who had joined forces with the white man. The book spends most of it's time on Sitting Bull and the Lakota's fight against the white man. It laments how the white man was taken at his word at first by the Lakota. It goes into some decent amount of detail on the fight against the white man, especially the fight against General Custer. I was actually taken back by the fact ...more
I love S.D. Nelson's choice of the first person voice in this picture book about Sitting Bull's life.
Prior to reading it, I could have told you that as a kid I never read or heard about the experience of America's westward expansion from Native Americans' points of view, but after reading it, that flaw in my education and my reading life is in my consciousness in a more affecting way.
I hope that by reading about Sitting Bull's connection to Wakan Takan ("the great mystery" or "great spirit") an
Maya Gutierrez
Nelson, the author, uses photos, paintings, and other art along with telling the story through Sitting Bulls perspective to take the readers into the life of the Lakota tribe. This tragic story teaches us how and what the US Government did to take the land and its resources from Sitting Bull and the Lakota people. Sitting Bull was a brave warrior and the last one to surrender to the government and be placed on a reservation. Readers are able to learn about the what the government took from these ...more
Lili Venegas
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multi-cultural
This is one of the few informational picture books I have ever read that I feel that I actually learned from. Not only did this book give me historical information regarding battles that were fought and who won them, but it also gave me a timeline of events and gave me a look into Native American culture and their traditions and values that i had not previously known of until I read this book. The illustrations in this book bring the events and the people to life through the use of tribal style ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tch_lrn-544
This 2016 honor award for the American Indian Youth Literature Award was captivating. While reading every word, I was transcended to the Lakota people and Sitting Bull as their leader during an important, yet tumultuous time during the 19th century. My heart ached as Sitting Bull's people was overtaken by the American armies, filled with joy as they became victorious to protect what was theirs, only to be saddened again when Sitting Bull and his people learned of their fate and their future. Thi ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book got 3 stars from me because intellectually, I understand the significance and importance of having children's books like this. The story of Sitting Bull's life is important to tell from an authentic perspective, and S.D. Nelson does so. Not only that, but the illustrations draw on Lakota historical drawings and pictures. Despite my intellectual knowledge that this is good and important, I just didn't really enjoy the book. It was very text heavy and Sitting Bull didn't really feel like ...more
My 10-year-old got this as a gift for Christmas and we read it together. Written by a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the book is a biography told from the POV of the subject himself. Most of the illustrations are ledger book art, with real photographs included as well. Worth reading solely on its own merits, but when I drew the parallels between Sitting Bull's tragic end and what the water protectors are doing today, my co-reader experienced a pretty important epiphany.
Marissa Donchess
I do not find a lot of history interesting so this book was not one of my favorites. What I did find interesting was that this was a first person narration by the one and only Sitting Bull. He was one of the greatest Chiefs from Lakota/Sioux. It was interesting to be put into his perspective and it made me get more of a general idea of how he really had felt and how he dealt with his people when undergoing problems. If you like history and learning about the past this is a great book for you!
Dennis Liverani
A great story about Sitting Bull. I find the Indian culture interested because of their spirituality and how they believe everything is important or has a purpose. Very powerful. This book incorporates maps, pictures and chapters telling the true story about sitting bull. Very educational. We as people sure have changed the way we live compared to our ancestors of the past. We rely on technology mainly and I would love to learn some of the ancient teachings out our ancestors one day.
Carly Thompson
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Biography of Sitting Bull for grades 4 - 8. Told in the first person by Sitting Bull, the text traces his life from birth to death. Nelson creates art using colored pencil placed digitally on ledger paper (his modern version of ledger art) as well as historic photographs. Includes an extensive time line, author's note, endnotes, bibliography, and index. Beautiful art and a strong non-fiction work that gives context to the American Indian Wars of the 19th Century.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I very much liked reading and seeing this book about this important historical character. The author's approach to tell this in a first-person narrative style is very successful in bringing the Lakota perspective on 19th century events to the reader.
The artwork was lovely throughout. The combination of archival images and artwork based on the style of "ledger art drawings" of 19th century Lakota people, as well as the map on the front lining papers very much added to this book's value.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Luann by: JLG
This is a beautiful biography of Sitting Bull. It is written in first person, which makes it feel very much like an autobiography. I really liked the many photos of the people and places talked about. Also, the ledger book art was fantastic and really added to the experience of reading this. The author included a very detailed timeline, an extensive author's note, an index, a bibliography, and other back matter which added a lot of information. I learned a lot!
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