[kids-lib] What to do about Indian Captive by Lois Lenski?

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Thu Apr 28 13:50:35 PDT 2016

Hi! Many of you may have seen the following email from Debbie Reese about Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. Reese read Indian Captive and did research about the true story it’s based on. Reese learned that Indian Captive includes some inaccurate portrayals of what really happened and that the book, written in 1941, includes many of the negative, incorrect stereotypes of Native communities common during that time.

Indian Captive is an award winning, classic book so many libraries will probably keep it in their collection. After reading Debbie Reese’s thorough review<http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2016/04/lois-lenskis-indian-captive.html> and gaining a better understanding about the specific content that is culturally inappropriate and potentially hurtful to Native youth using our libraries…

What might we do, if anything, when…

·         A children/parents asks us to help them find and check out Indian Captive?

·         A student comes in asking for Indian Captive for a homework assignment?

·         We learn a teacher we know fairly well is using Indian Captive in their classroom or including it on a reading list?

·         Someone complains or fills out a reconsideration request form about Indian Captive?

Please remember to be respectful of each other’s ideas, we’re trying to help each other figure out how to deal with a sensitive issue.


Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528


From: alsc-l-request at lists.ala.org [mailto:alsc-l-request at lists.ala.org] On Behalf Of Debbie Reese
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 8:08 AM
To: School Library Media & Network Communications <LM_NET at listserv.syr.edu>; Texas Library Connection <tlc at txla.org>; alsc-l at lists.ala.org; AILA at SI-LISTSERV.SI.EDU; yalsa-bk at lists.ala.org
Subject: [alsc-l] Librarian wrote to me about Lenski's INDIAN CAPTIVE

Good morning!

A school librarian wrote to me about Lois Lenski's Indian Captive, asking if I'd reviewed it. Her question nudged me to finish writing about it. I want to return to it later, but for now, here's my review.


Please share it with others, as you wish, and if you know of a teacher who is using it to teach about stereotyping and bias, please let me know.



Debbie Reese, Ph.D.
Tribally enrolled: Nambe Pueblo

Publisher of American Indians in Children's Literature <http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net>
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/debreese<http://twitter.com/#%21/debreese>
Email: dreese.nambe at gmail.com<mailto:dreese.nambe at gmail.com>
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