Lessons from History on Book Talk Thursday

Learning from history can help so many adults and children. The book In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, we can all learn much more than a history lesson!
Life is full of ups and downs as we go through it, especially for young students in the middle grades. Though Jimmy is a Lakota boy, he feels estranged from his friends at times and even bullied by others in the book In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse. (Affiliate links provided to fund future book purchases.) Finding his way out will make him realize who he truly is and what he can do.

Book Summary

Young Jimmy has been bullied by two of the boys in his class. He doesn't fit in with the other Lakota boys because of his lighter skin and hair. He wants to find a way to overcome these bullies and go to school in peace. His grandfather becomes that beacon of hope as he takes him on an adventure of a lifetime to tell the story of Crazy Horse and how he overcame many obstacles.

The journey leads them through the life and times of the Lakota, focusing on Crazy Horse, who also once had light hair. Through his life, he overcame many obstacles, especially as he fought against settlers trying to take the Lakota and other tribes' land. Jimmy's grandfather tells the stories of Crazy Horse to help Jimmy understand the way they lived and how they overcame whatever got in their way using their brains and courage.

Reasons to Read

More than anything In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse tells a great story of the warrior's life. From grandfather's story, we learn a great deal about how Crazy Horse helped his people win battles through his leadership and their courage. 

For students of all ages, it also helps them to remember who they are. The story sheds a light on being courageous at all times and showing who you are no matter the circumstances. The quote below from the Lakota women should ring true for all of us as we go out into the world.
Learning from history can help so many adults and children. The book In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, we can all learn much more than a history lesson!

Simply put, "You can have courage and face the tough times that happen to you." Jimmy's grandfather had it right! Every child can use this to help them remember to face tough times and move on!

One other way to use the book is to pair it with another Virginia Readers' Choice, Thunder Boy, Jr. I have reviewed it in this post, but it reminds students how Native Americans get their names and will help them understand some of the ideas in the book In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse.

Many times students ask why we need to learn history. I always say because we can learn so much from it. How true that is!


Learning from history can help so many adults and children. The book In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, we can all learn much more than a history lesson!


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