A Boy Called Slow

Title: A Boy Called Slow
Author: Joseph Bruchac
Illustrator: Rocco Baviera
Publisher: Philomel Books 1994
Rating: 4/5 stars
Awards: National Education Association’s Native American Booklist, 1994

The Native American culture has been skillfully woven into this traditional tale through the words of Bruchac and the illustrations of Baveiera.  By often using the native tongue in spoken words of the text, the author emphasizes the cultural heritage of this story. Desiring to change his name, Slow reflects on his mother’s words that “a true Lakota shares everything with the people.”  The value of family is reflected not only in Slow’s respect for his mother’s words, but also in the way he learned to understand animals like his father and the loyalty he shows to his entire tribe. Readers can not help but be drawn into the lives of the Lakota when this book takes them on a buffalo hunt through the woods and fighting the enemy on the plane.  A true cultural experience, A Boy Called Slow demonstrates the value of hard work, the power of determination, and the strength of family.

Professional Review Excerpt:

“Employing a somber palette marked by radiant bursts, the first-time children’s illustrator evokes the solemnity and awe of ripening adulthood. Satisfying for its attention to historical and multicultural issues; stirring in its consummate storytelling.” Publisher’s Weekly

Bruchac, Joseph. A Boy Called Slow. New York: Philomel Books, 1995.

National Education Agency. “Native American Booklist.” Last modified 2014. http://www.nea.org/grants/native-american-booklist.html.

Publisher’s Weekly. “A Boy Called Slow.” Last modified 1 March 1995. http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-22692-2.


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