CRC Information

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains Book Cover

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains
Scott O'dell & Elizabeth Hall
Bantum Doubleday, NY, NY 1992
Pages: 128 - chapters

Grades: 5 +

 Rating:  Harmful - Stereotypical

A story as told by Sounds of Running Feet, the daughter of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Tribe.  White gold miners are moving into the Nez Perce territories and claiming land as their own.  Sounds of Running feet wants to fight, Chief Joseph has had visions of battles lost, and the parts of the tribe tries to flee to Canada. 

The story is written well, descriptions of beautiful landscapes blossom before your eyes.  But there are subtleties that make the book a detriment to Native readers.  1) Sounds of Running Feet shoots a gold pan out of a woman's hands for no apparent reason upon their first encounter. This tend to lead the reader to assume that the government removal was of the Natives own demise, 2) The narration is stereotypical - mythical "he was their chieftain because he could see far away into the land of the suns and moons that had not yet risen." and the names.. why not use the Ne-mee-poo names rather than their translations? 3) on Page 11... "Go or I'll banish you from the clan.  You will be a wanderer for the rest of your life, no longer a Ni-mii-puu."  Banishment would have meant death, and if the leader Chief Joseph was for peace than why wouldn't it be okay for Swan Necklace to be the same?

  Marlette Grant-Jackson – ITEPP-CRC

More Resources

Nez Perce Logo  NezPerce Tribal Web site