Monday, July 9, 2012

The First Americans

 Would you use a buffalo bladder as a canteen or wear a coat made out of seal skin? Native Americans cleverly used everything in their environment in order to survive. They created games, recipes, tools, and homes based on their surroundings. A word search review game is included.

 The First Americans, written by Kelly Bakshi, is the story    of how early Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait from  Asia to Alaska by foot when it was frozen solid,  thousands of   years ago.  This creative non-fiction book will draw the interest  of children, as they will be able to identify with the children of  different regions so long ago.  They’ll find themselves walking  into the far north where they will meet Ahna from the Inuit  Tribe. They’ll find out about her igloo, how it was built, and how  Ahna lives and survives the elements. 

 Traveling on to the North West coast of the United States  further south, children will meet Malid of the Kwakuitl Tribe.   He will tell them how he honors the Earth, finds his food, and  what creative things his tribe does with the trees.

As their trip continues to the Southwest where it is a warm dry climate they will say hello to Catori of the Hopi Tribe.  Catori’s people live in a very unusual building made of clay with no doors.  Children will delight in the way one must enter their home.

Further East, Hinto of the Dakota Tribe will peak their interest when he explains how his life revolves around, where the buffalo roam.  Hinto lives in a portable house made of many animal skins.

The famous Hiawatha from the Iroquois Tribe in the Eastern Woodlands will tell children of her many accomplishments.  Hiawatha’s people live in large strange looking houses, and the tribes of her people give much power to woman.

Moving on to the Southwest they meet Quigaltanqui of the Natchez Tribe.  This child of early times lives in a warm mild climate.  Children will learn how this tribe’s class of people is ever changing.

These Native Americans worked hard, and they played hard.  This book lends education to games they played, and what they did to survive and eat well.  The First Americans book explains about storytelling, crafts, activities of these early Native Americans, as well as much detail to their traditions, and survival.

The time line for when the first Americans crossed the Bering Strait is of great controversy among those who study the subject, but no matter what the time span; whether it be 30,000 or 15,000 years ago, I think this would be a book valued by any parent, teacher, librarian, and certainly I feel this is a book children will not only enjoy, but also, remember and value.  

The pictures in The First Americans book for children are brilliant, expressive, and quite informative.  I enjoyed this book, and give it five stars ***** for educational content, drawings, and photos.

This review was written by Susan Hornbach, author of children’s literature.
 If you would like to purchase this book, click the link below:       Look for it in the Academic Wings section

 About the author:
Kelly Bakshi is a Social Studies teacher and a
writer. She is also the author of Myth-Busting
Columbus. She holds a BA in Political Science
and History from Rutgers and a MS in Secondary
Education from Mercy College. Kelly loves living
in New York City with her husband and son.
Visit with her at


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jan, for stopping by and leaving a comment. I know you gave a wonderful review for this book. That's the review where I called you Connie. LoL. Oh, the senior moments!

  2. Hi Susan, Great detailed review. Best of luck to Kelly.

    1. You also gave a great review for this book Penelope. I thought the book was quite educational for kids. The time line for the crossing is a hot topic, as they believe it could have happened from 40,000 down to 12,000 years ago, but most believe it was 15,000 years ago that they actually crossed the Bering Strait from Asia to Alaska. Whatever the time line, this book will educate kids and hold their attention. Great book Kelly!

  3. Thanks so much for the detailed review! My intention was to create a fun read filled with information. I hope kids enjoy it!

    1. Your intentions are spot on Kelly, and I have no doubts the kids will enjoy this book.

  4. This looks like a wonderful, educational book! Non-fiction is such an important component of book offerings, and I'm delighted to see this.

    All the best with your book, and thanks for the review!

    1. Thanks Nancy, I know education is near and dear to your heart. You would find this book an enjoyable learning tool for kids. So good of you to stop and leave a comment.