Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Title: Indian Shoes

Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Illustrator: Jim Madsen

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published Date: 2002



Indian Shoes is not just one story about Ray and his Grampa, but 6 short stories that make up this awesome book! In the first story,Indian Shoes which the book is named after, we meet Ray and his Grampa. Ray is a young Indian boy transplated from Oklahoma to Chicago, IL. Ray’s parents have been killed by a tornado and he is now living with his Grampa in the Windy City. All other stories chronicle Ray and Grampa’s life together. It shows the love between a grandfather and his grandson.

I really enjoyed reading this! The short stories really broke up the novel and made it much easier to read. It was fun seeing little glimpses of Ray’s world and how much his Grampa meant to him. I also liked the hints of Native American culture that is added into the stories. Of course both characters are Native American, but that doesn’t always mean that it gets translated into the text. I also enjoyed how universal the stories were covered. Just because these two characters are Native American doesn’t mean that any person of any ethnic group can’t have the same situations or feelings in their lives. It is good to have children read this and realize that all people have the same troubles and lives, just in different packages.


Happy Reading!


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