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Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  161 Ratings  ·  54 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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Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
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
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew, when requesting this, that it's an important story. And that it would be powerful, and intense. I did not realize how beautiful it would be. And I did not realize how much I would learn from the author's note in the back. Thank you, Mr. Tingle and Ms Clarkson, for creating this book for all of us and for all of our children.
Kara Stewart
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
This intergenerational story about cultural identity and unfounded prejudices is heartrending. The author recalls a time when he experienced pain and his beloved Choctaw grandmother tried to make him feel better by sharing a painful memory of her own from a time when the family lived in California. His small amount of agony is surely lessened when he learns that she was blinded as the result of someone throwing a stone at her. The text and the large, colorful illustrations that fill each page le ...more
Book Concierge
Beautifully illustrated, autobiographical children’s book has many important messages – respect for elders, understanding your heritage, aging with grace and dignity, overcoming life’s obstacles – but the story bounced from present to past to present and there were no smooth transitions. Ages 5-8.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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...
Contemporary story reflecting back on childhood -- lot of family history here with events important to Native Americans (Oklahoma boarding schools, discrimination). Very moving.
Traci Bold
Learned several new things today all having to do with the Choctaw way.

A beautiful story that fills in the gaps using proper segways to tell time through out this story of what to say when things don't make sense. 'saltypie'.

Written by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Karen Clarkson and published by Cinco Puntos Press.

#PB #NF #heritage #Choctaw
Michelle Vanek
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic
This story is about the problems encountered by a grandmother of a Choctaw family. It's about her orphan days in an Indian boarding school to the hardships she met in her new home in the Texas Gulf Coast.
Nashwa M.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Nicole G.
1. Culture or group portrayed: Native Americans, specifically Choctaw.
2. Book information: Tingle, T. (2010). Saltypie: a Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light. El Paso, Texas: Cinco Puntos Press.
3. Summary: This book is about Mr. Tingle’s experiences as a young boy, and learning about his family, especially his grandmother, who he calls MawMaw. Every time there is some sort of adversity or hardship, the family calls it “saltypie,” which young Tim eventually learns is a way to shrug it off,
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
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tim Tingle is a master storyteller. Karen Clarkson's illustrations are realistic and beautiful. This picture book is written and illustrated by Choctaws and is about Tingle's Choctaw family. I especially love the illustrations in the scene in the hospital waiting room when the family is joined by their family spirits as they await news about Mawmaw's surgery. The story is told from the perspective of one of Mawmaw's many grandchildren who learns the meaning of the word "saltypie" from his family ...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
Cynnea Schreibman
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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
Amanda Herman
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This picture books is about a young boy who is telling the story of his grandmother. He uses the verse “saltypie” in his family to describe something that has not gone well or something that is negative or sad. It helps you “shrug it off” when you don’t know why the trouble happened. His grandmother is blind and he did not even realize this until he was six years old. He also finds out about how when his grandmother first moved to their current home, a young boy threw a rock at her face because ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Joanna Thompson
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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?
Samantha Stock
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
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
Hannah Jespersen
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle
American Indian Youth Literature Award - Honors book

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: 2-6 Grades

Text-to-text: Saltypie reminded me of "I Loved You Before You Were Born" by Anne Bowen. Both books have such a sweet appreciation for Grandma, which is a hard topic to find in children's books. It's been a long time since I've read the book by Anne Bowen, but Saltypie made me want to call my grandma and thank her for everything s
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
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.

Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Ally Irwin
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
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
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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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