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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Walk the World's Rim by Betty Baker



TITLE: Walk the World's Rim
AUTHOR: Betty Baker
PUBLISHER: Sonlight Curriculum 
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 1, 1997 (first published 1965)
FORMAT: Paperback, 168 pages
ISBN: 978-1887840224

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

A 14-year old Indian joins Cabeza de Vaca's 16th-century expedition through the Southwest. A vivid portrait of Mexican life and the harsh conditions of a primitive Indian tribe.

MY REVIEW:

I read this book aloud to my children.

This is based on a true story, and it is about a 14 year-old Indian boy named Chakoh who has lived a very poor and hard life. In all of his years of existence, he cannot remember there ever being a time when he was not cold and not hungry.

Five Spanish ships sailed from Cuba to explore Florida in the summer of 1527. There were five friars aboard who hoped to convert the Indians to Christianity; the rest of the 600 men hungered for wealth. All but four of them died. For seven years, the four Spaniards – together with their Negro slave, Esteban - lived among the Gulf Coast Indians. They knew they would starve to death if they stayed with this primitive tribe of Indians, who barely survived on a near-starvation diet. They escaped and fled north into the unknown and unexplored territory of Texas. They eventually came upon the friendly Avavare Indians, Chakoh’s people.

The four Spaniards told the Avavare Indians their plan to travel to Mexico, where banquets of food awaited them. The promise of food lures young Chakoh, and he wants to travel with the Spaniards and Esteban to Mexico. Esteban does not wish Chakoh to come along, for he fears that he will also be turned into a slave, a secret Esteban keeps from Chakoh. Esteban tries to convince Chakoh to stay with his people and with the life he knows, but Chakoh scoffs that there is nothing for him here – little food and no protection from the harsh cold winter winds. Chakoh sets out with the Spaniards and Esteban to Mexico.

I enjoyed the book, and I was surprised at how much my 9 year-old daughter enjoyed it even though the content was quite sombre. There is some sadness towards the end of the book, and Chakoh learns that things are not always what they seem. The book provides much food for thought and inspired a lot of discussion between my daughter and I.

MY RATING: 3 stars! My daughter gives it 5 stars – she loved it!

This book qualifies as:
#89 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

View all my reviews

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