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Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  67 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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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  223 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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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.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100nativebooks
Believe it or not, but I keep a copy of this book in my car. The powerful story is one I want to read (and my kids to read) over and over again. Tingle is my favorite Choctaw (and Native) writer, and this story tops my list. Probably because it comes from personal experience and shows his heart and spirit. The glimpse we get into his personal life, his Mawmaw, is a precious gift to us all.
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...
This book was a 2012 American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award Picture Book Honor Book -- the only one of the four honor books from that year that I could actually get from any of my local library networks.

Like Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve's The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood , this draws on the author's own childhood -- though while I think The Christmas Coat may be a somewhat fictionalized account, this book seems intentionally telling the story of the autho
Margaret Boling
1/20/2019 ~ An #ownvoices tale about a Choctaw grandmother. The end matter is thought-provoking and important for teachers to read. When we discuss U.S. history and Native Americans with our students, it is crucial to consider stereotypes, differences among tribes, and how American Indian experiences have changed across time.

About this particular book: When I read the first page of the story, I felt as if I'd jumped into the middle of the story; I even checked to see if the book had missing page
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a story about Tingle's family, mostly focused around his grandmother.

It's not entirely in chronological order, but the flow of the story makes sense. It talks about Tingle's childhood through when he was in college or so, a bit about his dad's childhood, and his grandmother's childhood, touching on key events in Choctaw history and how they impacted the family.

The afterword is really helpful for context of the story and for thinking about how to read the book with kids (especially non-N
Tahlor Kimble
One of the first things that stood out to me in this book is the beautiful illustrations. These illustrations were so good that they almost looked real to me. I also found this story very interesting just because the family in this story definitely has a different way they live than I do. I think this is a good story for everyone that also includes some great messages. I highly recommend this book!
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, culture
This book would be appropriate for those in the primary grades. This book expresses a lot of adversity, the family had to deal with a lot of problems because they were seen as being inferior because they were native Americans. I think this would be a good book in the classroom to help show kids the differences in how people experience life and how we can learn that treating people like that isn't okay.
Sierra McKinley
This book was by far my favorite. The story follows a young boy discovering the story of his native-american grandmother and the trials she had shrugged off throughout her lifetime. It demonstrates the closeness of the native-american culture and the importance of family. I loved this book and I think it brings a unique perspective to the classroom.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The following website has been invaluable to me as I search for respectful literature featuring Native American protagonists and their history. The site led me to Saltypie, which I think is a wonderful book.

Josie Miller
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a great resource for elementary school classrooms. It details the story of a Choctaw Indians' move to Texas and the racism they encountered there. This is a good book to include if ever talking about grandparents because it's all about Tim Tingle's grandmother. This is also a good book to include when talking about racism in the United States.
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.
Meg Galbreath
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fun-reading
True story of the authors mawmaw (grandmother) and how she went from blindness to sight. Lots of back story and family photos in the back. Excellent!
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Saltypie is a word that Tim Tingle's father made up as a child.

This is a story about being Indian in modern America and about dealing with hardship as best you can.
Cheriee Weichel
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tim Tingle is one of my favourite American storytellers. This is based on the true story of his grandmother and how she lost and regained her sight. Karen Clarkson's artwork is magnificent.
Jessica Velasquez
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book.
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
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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