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Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The gripping true story of a murder on an Indian reservation, and the unforgettable Arikara woman who becomes obsessed with solving it--an urgent work of literary journalism.

"I don't know a more complicated, original protagonist in literature than Lissa Yellow Bird, or a more dogged reporter in American journalism than Sierra Crane Murdoch."--William Finnegan, Pulitzer
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Random House
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  • Yellow Bird by Sierra Crane Murdoch
    Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country
    Release date: Feb 25, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win one of 50 copies of YELLOW BIRD by Sierra Crane Murdoch, on sale February 25!

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 16 - Feb 25, 2020

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    Popular Answered Questions
    Holly No, it is not related. Different time, different place. KOTFM is 1920s Oklahoma. The Baaken Oil Boom peaked in 2012 North Dakota.

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 3.60  · 
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     ·  65 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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    Start your review of Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country
    Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
    In Yellow Bird, Sierra Crane Murdoch, details how Lissa Yellow Bird, an Indigenous woman with a troubled past and hard life, has become quite adept when it comes to solving missing person cases.

    In Yellow Bird, a man employed by questionable employers exploiting natural resources on Native American property disappears and is said to have left the area voluntarily, while Lissa Yellow Bird and others believe his disappearance has not been voluntary.

    The background of Lissa Yellow Bird involves
    Jen Juenke
    Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: non-fiction
    I was really looking forward to reading this book.
    Having grown up in Indian Country, I was eager to read about the murder, the oil, and the reservation.
    I got half way through this book before deciding that I could NOT keep propping my eyelids open to read this.

    First, Lissa is the main focus of this book....NOT the murder victim KC.
    Second, I am got so tired and BORED of hearing of Lissa's horrible job as a mother and as a drug addict. IT dominated everything.
    I completely understand if this was a
    The land of the Dakotas has ever been altered by man; first by immigrating settlers, followed by self-serving dams and its consequent floods, lately though it is by the Bakken oil boom where once again men have arrived in the thrall of riches. Lissa Yellow Bird, a member of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation as well as a mother with OCD and a rap sheet in flux with the tradition of the Sun Dance and Native culture, strives for justice in the disappearance of oil-worker Kristopher Clarke. ...more
    Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Indian Country and the oil fields of North Dakota are two places quality journalism has feared to tread. When they are the same place, even moreso. Yellow Bird is a look at both the historical traumas of the Fort Berthold Reservation and the current and ongoing devastation caused by the oil boom told through the life of Lissa Yellow Bird Chase. Like Lissa, I'm also a member of the MHA Nation at Fort Berthold and while Lissa's life is her own, the traumas are widespread and shared among the ...more
    Bimal Patel
    Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Disclaimer: I have received a copy of this book from the publisher in return of my unbiased opinion and review.

    Books on investigative journalism are always fun and gripping to read. This book is no different. The story of this book is multifaceted in that it involves one woman's relentless efforts to find out about a missing person on Indian reservation while at the same time the author takes us through the oil boom on reservations and how it impacted the lives of people living there and the way
    Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is a preliminary review, subject to future updating. I'm still working my way through this book. It's a good and interesting book, but it's a very slow read, at least for me. I think the problem is that it's filled with lots of extraneous details. Over and over, I've seen references to where this town or that town is located. Where this gray building is, or that gray house. Where this edge or that edge of the reservation lies. How far it is from one town to another. So far, at least, none ...more
    Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
    The book is interesting enough; but excruciatingly slow. It focuses heavily on Lissa, the woman who obsessively searches for a missing person. It is almost like a biography of sorts which annoyed me because I thought the book was going to be mostly about the oil boom on the reservation and the missing person. Her kids, their different fathers, her mother, her grandmother, her siblings, every town she visited, on and on and on. At least half of the book focuses on every detail of her past and ...more
    Kayla Mckinney
    Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to read this ARC!

    In "Yellow Bird" Sierra Crane Murdoch follows in the footsteps of books like "Highway of Tears" (McDiarmid) and "Red River Girl" (Jolly) in looking at the intersection of tribal life and crime. Her book is partly a history of U.S. relations with Native Americans, partly a look at the discovery and boom-bust cycle of oil on tribal lands, partly an investigation of how poverty and crime have had a disproportionate impact on
    Kate Morgan
    Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
    "Yellow Bird" by Sierra Crane Murdoch follows Lissa Yellow Bird, who was released from prison and found that her reservation, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, was completely transformed by the Bakken oil boom. Her land, people, and culture had been completely transformed and owned by corporations and their best interests, all while addiction and violence became more common in the reservation. All while this was happening, Lissa learned that a young white oil worker, ...more
    Lisa Cobb Sabatini
    Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I won an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch from Goodreads.

    Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch is many books in one. It is the story of one woman's life and also the story of her family and of her people. It is a book about greed and justice, transgression and redemption, loss and purpose.
    Through her reporting on the investigation of the
    Alexandra Coffey
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: giveaways
    I got this book as a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to Goodreads and to the publisher for allowing me the chance to review it ahead of the release. The book wasn't necessarily "bad," but I'm giving it two stars because it could have been way shorter and it didn't keep my interest after the first 100 pages (although I stuck it out and finished it).

    This book is not for the faint of heart: lots of names, dates, and events that kind of jump around. Interwoven into the true crime aspect is the
    Derek Moore
    Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    When Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009 she went to the North Dakota Indian reservation. She hardly recognized her home. Her tribal government fell prey to corporate. She discovered that members of her tribe were addicts and perpetrators of violence. She learned that a young oil worker KC had disappeared and no one cared. No one was interested in finding him or even finding out what happened. This is a powerful story about Yellow Bird and her search for truth and justice that ...more
    Susan Krich
    Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This book was given to me through Goodreads.
    When I first started this book, I realized that I had read an article about the Kristopher Clarke case in a NY Times article. I checked and it was 12/29/14. There was no end to the case.
    I hoped this would settle the case.
    It is a story of greed.
    There are three or four main themes.
    The mystery of who killed Kristopher Clarke runs throughout the book.
    It is also a biography of Lissa from childhood to present.
    The Indian reservation, its culture and how the
    Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    I can see why it took the author seven years to write this book. It is a lot of information to absorb and to keep the timeline in order. It is a slow read.
    The book is about a Native American woman named Lissa. She has a checkered past with drugs, prison, etc. But she alone, remains defiant that she is going to find out who murdered KC in the oil fields of North Dakota. If you can keep up with all the relatives and Lissa moving around to different states and cities you will find this book
    Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I’m about 65% done with this book and it really has been. Difficult read. I was really looking forward to reading it, I grew up in Northern Idaho near several Native American reservations as well as Spokane WA which is mentioned in this book. I thought this would more of a crime story. I felt like this story did a lot of jumping around and had a lot of unnecessary details that seem to go on and on. I usually finish a book this size within a week but this really has been a struggle. I will ...more
    Denice Langley
    Jan 15, 2020 marked it as to-read
    A true to life story of how prejudice and/ or indifference ruled the lives of many Native Americans during mid-century's oil booms and busts. A young woman who is trying to reform her bad habits while conforming to the community's expectations finds herself in a position to investigate when a co-worker goes missing. Her journeys take her into many dire places where her safety is not guaranteed. I found this book very interesting and well written. Sierra Crane Murdoch has written a book that ...more
    Kim Rivera
    Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
    (e-Arc courtesy of Netgalley)

    Going into this book, it’s important to realize that it’s much less about oil, murder and justice than it is about Lissa Yellowbird. Her family, her life, her children, her addiction, her crimes, her redemption. Along the way, oil, murder, justice come into the story. The actual true crime aspect of this book is probably five (of total 18) chapters total.

    I think it’s a shame because there are multiple compelling stories in this book, but the way it’s written dilutes
    Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: crime
    A true story of a member of the Arikara Indian tribe who is released from prison only to return to her reservation to find it totally changed. The oil boom has caused major changes - both good and bad. Yellow Bird (Lissa) seeks to find the murderer of a young white oil worked and at the same time find herself. We get a close up look at Lissa's life both good and bad. This is a very moving and personal story. I won this book in a GoodReads Giveaway.
    Mary Ellen Anaka
    Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
    I have to be honest. I had a very hard time getting into this book. I felt that it was too bogged down with repetative information. This book was slow and tedious. I found myself skipping some of the book, just to get on with it.
    Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: first-reads
    A very good, complex and sometimes sad book. The auhor was very concise in her research on the missing man Kristophor Clark, and the greed of many people who once again stole from the American forefathers.
    Feb 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Won from Goodreads Giveaway

    I love True Crime, and really wanted to like this book. I just couldn't. It was so boring. I kept trying to read it and have finally gave up. You may like it, but I don't.
    Nov 25, 2019 added it
    Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country is a well written book on what happened with the government intervention on the Indian land. I thought it was very educational and enlightening. I finished reading this book the last of October, 2019.
    Liam Green
    Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
    There's a lot to unpack regarding Sierra Crane Murdoch's YELLOW BIRD, perhaps more than the book itself manages to successfully examine. In examining the disappearance and likely murder of an oil worker who runs afoul of corporate and criminal greed, Murdoch also aims to tackle larger issues affecting the Arikara nation in North Dakota, depict the chaotic sprawl of late-stage capitalism and tell an extended character study of addict, ex-con and idiosyncratic detective Lissa Yellow Bird.

    MCZ Reads
    Nov 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: giveaway-winners
    I won a copy of Yellow Bird in a Goodreads giveaway. I will update this review once I receive and read my copy. I’m excited to read this book!
    Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.

    Fascinating book.
    Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    I didn't know much about life on a reservation, and found the politics of oil drilling very interesting.
    Faith 09
    Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
    Very slow but otherwise good.
    Elle Rudy
    Oct 13, 2019 is currently reading it
    Shelves: netgalley, 2020
    *Thanks to Random House & Netgalley for an advance copy!
    Nov 30, 2019 marked it as physical_to-read_stack
    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways.
    Tikri /Letitia
    Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
    True crime stories are difficult for me. As the title plainly tells us, this book also addresses other issues. This is a serious story.
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