Southwest Children's  Literature

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Runs with Horses

Curricular Connections:

1) This book could be taught in grades 6 - 9.
2) Connections could easily be made to the histories of Arizona, United States or Native Americans.
3) When the YA reader identifies with the young warriors who have been trained for a life that vanishes with Geronimo's decision to live on the reservation, there is a connection between self and text in which the YA reader is better able to understand adult constraints and abrupt life changes.
4) For the struggling reader, this book is interesting and should hold the interest of the reader. Evaluation: It would be a quick and interesting story that would fit well as a supplemental text.

Pair Runs with Horses with another coming of age novel (e.g. Dawn Rider by Jan Hudson). Dawn Rider is a tale about a sixteen-year-old Blackfoot girl during the 1750s. In addition to offering a strong female protagonist, the author gives readers a peek into the traditional life of the Blackfoot nation during the 18th century. Students could use a variety of techniques (essay, short answer prompts, and others) to compare/contrast the novels while increasing their understanding of the differences and similarities between traditional Native American communities.

It may also be interesting to consider pairing Runs with Horses with a text that does not necessarily reflect the Native American community and have students draw comparisons between the two.

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