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Paperback The Education of Little Tree Book

ISBN: 0826328091

ISBN13: 9780826328090

The Education of Little Tree

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression."Little Tree" as his grandparents call him is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course.Little Tree also learns the often callous...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

What I Learned From Little Tree

Unlike the reader from LA, I fail to see why the University of Mexico Press should feel obligated to "alert" the reader of Forrest Carter's ugly past. I think that removing the "True Story" subtitle was all that had to be done. After finding out about Carter's hideous background, I read the book backwards and was relieved to find no hidden racist manifestos or prayers to Satan. When reading the book frontwards what I discovered was a potentially life-changing, hilarious, sad and ultimately uplifting tale that left me convinced of the universal beauty of the human spirit. As far as racial and cultural issues go, this book - if anything - made me even more understanding of different cultures and more sensitive to the background of Native Americans. In fact, I was so inspired after I turned over the last page, that I hastily filled up all of the blank pages at the end with my own reflections. I remember exclaiming to a friend who walked by that I had just finished one of the best books I had ever read. Of course I felt somewhat betrayed when I first learned the truth behind the book's author (this morning). I was also very disappointed - and still am - that such a wonderfully inspiring plot and cast of characters never actually graced the often-uninspiring "real world" in which we live. But then I looked back at the notes I had written upon completing the book. My first thought had been "As a society we need to understand and tolerate our differences." The irony here - that a former KKK leader had inspired these notes - did not escape me. Rather, I discovered that I was still learning from "Little Tree." If even the most ugly and evil people can harbor inside them a potential to inspire strangers to understand and even "kin" each other despite our differences, then isn't there hope for the human race? Society today is sick with racism and disrespect for each other and for nature. We need to change that, and reading "Little Tree" is as good a first step as any. Many famous writers - while troubled or despicable as individuals - have still managed to pass down priceless bits of beauty or wisdom that have touched and will continue to touch the lives of millions of readers in generations to come. The University of Mexico Press could always change the publisher's note on the back cover to: "Former KKK leader lies about his past." Heck, they could even insert an author's picture of old Forest in a white hood burning a cross. They could. But all that would happen is less people would read "Little Tree" and, unfortunately, miss out on a great lesson in tolerance, love and understanding. "The Education of Little Tree" is masterpiece; you will laugh a lot, cry some, and leave it feeling like you have gained more wisdom than many people will gain in a lifetime.

Visit Little Tree's secret place

In the years since this book was published, controversy has erupted surrounding Forrest Carter's writing career. Some have accused him of not being a Cherokee, or of renouncing his Native American heritage when it suited him, then exploiting it later in life. There is also evidence that he was a speech writer for the Ku Klux Klan early in his career, before having a change of heart and writing the works for which he is better known. Does this affect one's reading of this book? That's a harder question. I can say for sure, though, that this book is the real deal. It is a deeply felt, honest (if occasionally idealized) account of what it meant to be raised Cherokee in the 1930's. It describes beautifully the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern North Carolina, and it is a powerful argument for a return to some of the old ways of the indigenous people of the American Southeast. Deeply moving, extremely humorous, and carefully told, this is one of America's greatest stories. Treasure it, and read it again and again.

Yearning For Clarity

I have read this book 5 times. It calls to me every year or so, and, wondering why, since it always leaves me in tears, I have decided that the simple, clear integrity of the lives of the characters in this book appeals to something deep inside of me. Raised a cultural christian, with all of the bible "training" and Sunday school attendance pins that go along with that background, I was always mildly troubled by the guilt and shame for just being human that orthodox Christianity attempted to cast over me. I realized, as an adult and after much study and soul searching, that we are a simple part of a complex universe, and, deserve to live in it fully, with all of the joys and sorrows encountered along the way, and, be able to question every single fascinating bauble that comes our way. I am also comfortable in the knowledge that my soul is part of something finite and larger than this life. I do not have to pay dues to a church or judgemental diety. Little tree was not raised to feel guilt or shame unless he did something to deserve it. Little Tree's simple life, religion and expectations, with a heritage of love, allowed him to live his life with crystal clear vision and peace. This book is written in a style that lets one's soul soar with expectation, if only for the short time that it takes to read it. God, please grant me the grace to raise my children like Little Tree.

Controversial, magical, worth reading and fighting over.

For years, I've used Little Tree in my developmental reading classes with mostly black and hispanic men and women. Before I had heard of the controversy, I was impressed by the beauty of the book. I loved the way my slow, insecure readers could feel smarter than the narrator, as they realized they knew more than the small boy did. It was the most universally appreciated book I'd ever come across; people from all over the world, ages from 17 to 70 respond deeply to it. So what happened when I found out that Carter's a fake? I took a few years off, and then returned to it. What fascinating discussions we have about human nature, about deception, about what literature is and is not, when my students, totally entranced by the book, find out that it was written by a member of the KKK. Wow! Opportunities for this kind of deeply challenging discussion are too rare to pass up. Finally,is it possible Carter was a closet liberal who made money by writing stupid, silly speeches for stupid politicians, while his heart was in his novels? I don't know, but I love the karmic irony that his book makes my students of all backgrounds re-consider their prejudices, their materialism, their government's abuse of power, their treatment of animals and the environment. Sure, I'm troubled and confused by it all, but ultimately, I smile.
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