AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

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Tasunka Ota

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Skenandore (amandaskenandore) | 72 comments Harry, the friend and former classmate whom Alma is trying to prove innocent of murder, is the only character in the story loosely drawn after a real person. The circumstances of Harry’s life after leaving boarding school were inspired, in part, by the real-life experiences of a Lakota man named Tasunka Ota. An attendee of the Carlisle Industrial Indian School in the 1880s, he shot U.S. Army Lieutenant Edward Casey in the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre. During his trial, he cited his time at Carlisle and his desire to be reunified with his people as the impetus for the killing. Ultimately, he was acquitted and returned home to the Rosebud Reservation.

In the Shadow of Wounded Knee: The Untold Final Story of the Indian Wars by Roger L. DiSilvestro is a great nonfiction book about Tasunka Ota.

As I mentioned in my initial interview with Rebecca, Harry is my favorite character from the novel. I love him for his bravery, integrity, and conviction. Yet he’s vulnerable too—a little boy at the story’s opening, so far from home and all that’s familiar. And he’s imperfect, the way we all ultimately are.

Who’s your favorite character from a novel? If you could meet him or her, what questions would you ask? Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Between Earth & Sky.


message 2: by Stella (new)

Stella McKissack (stellamckissack) | 38 comments Sarah from Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I would ask her where she found her strength to forge through her horrendous experiences.


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Skenandore (amandaskenandore) | 72 comments Stella wrote: "Sarah from Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I would ask her where she found her strength to forge through her horrendous experiences."

Great question! That book is high on my TBR list.


message 4: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Stella wrote: "Sarah from Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I would ask her where she found her strength to forge through her horrendous experiences."
Sarah's Key is a great book. I loved it and the character too.


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