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 ways of white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is taken away by whites for schooling, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them and of Little Tree's perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee Way.
A classic of its era, and an enduring book for all ages.
©2008 India Carter, LLC © 1976 by Forrest Carter; Copyright renewed 2004 (P)2014 David N. Wilson
There are a lot of interesting lessons and points in this book. But there is a lot of cussing and the language used is old English-keep the young ones away.
"Grabs Your Heartstrings"
Narrator was perfect. Made me feel that the story was narrated by a naïve young boy. Really personalized the story.
Drew me into this poignant story. Could not stop listening.
Accent was done extremely well. Made me believe that he identified with this very young orphaned Native American.
I cried for at least 15 minutes. Was a very good story that drew me right in, and because I felt connected to each of the major character, I personally felt their pain.
This story reminded me of the way I felt after watching "Ol' Yeller". I enjoyed the entire story, laughing out loud at times, but crying at the end when reality intrudes.
"Johnny Heller impresses!"
Even if you have read this classic piece of Americana (whether or not you know its checkered past) you need to hear Johnny Heller read it to you. It is like discovering a lost treasure all over again.
Having read and taught this book numerous times, it was a rare treat to have Johnny Heller read it to me. His fresh, in the moment, subtle style does not disappoint.
Johnny Heller has a knack for getting inside the soul of young characters when he narrates a book. It's amazing really. A voice that on first blush seems better suited for Noir brings vivid detail to YA and Classic Children's Literature.
Talking with Grandma about her special place... I was there with them... just beautiful.
This is a book for all ages and all time. It is a beautifully lyrical sensitive rendering of the native American experience and a young mans powerful and resilient journey. Johnny Heller gave a knock out narration/performance that is honest, jugular and nuanced.
"A Beautiful Culture Through the Eyes of a Child"
Charming, Heartbreaking, Uplifting..
The vivid descriptions of a simple life in the mountains and the daily life that Little Tree and his grandparents shared was genuinely touching and thought provoking. I loved the humorous episodes about the politicians and the whiskey runnin' business.. I loved the hound dogs.I especially loved Grandma's explanation of the "mind spirit" and "body spirit". I loved all of the moments with Willow John and Little Tree's grandparents. This book is not tragic or angry. It expresses with dignity and grace a culture "torn apart and scattered" that should never be forgotten.
I cannot imagine anyone better to portray this little boy than Johnny Heller. He told the story in a simple straight forward manner which meshed perfectly with the writing. I really felt as though I was living every moment through the eyes of a 5 year old child who was struggling to make sense of a world he was thrust into. I felt the discovery and genuine love and adoration that Little Tree had for his grandparents, the mountains and a way of life that because of it's simplicity and truth gave him a rich and satisfying life.
I listened a second time to several of these chapters because I was so moved by this story.I wish that this were on the reading/listening list in every school in America. There are lessons for ALL to take to heart here!
"Excellent story for every American to read!"
The narrator of the story colors the story with American Indian accents, which brings life to the characters. Powerfully moving passages about the coming of age of a young person in a rapidly changing world, complete with a removed and misdirected political force which threatens extinction of the very way of life for an entire people, whose culture lives as one with nature and whose religion can be described as spiritually tuned to the frequency of nature. Replete with social, religious, political ideals and challenges of the United States since its inception and even further since white man's first, drastic contrasting contact with the American Native peoples.
A beautiful eloquent story, it's as if Grandpa is re-educating the reader to know The Way.
This book was written under a pseudonym and eventually exposed as the work of a prominent and vocal segregationist. The book was taken off of Oprah Winfrey's recommended reading list when this came out. However, The book stands alone as a lovely work which seems to be completely free from racial hatred or prejudice of any kind. In fact, the perspective that comes through in this book is compelling, deep, compassionate and beautiful. I think the writer failed at times in his use of a colloquial dialect. But overall, he told A story that has staying power.
we've listened to it over and over and over again. I highly recommend it for home-schooled children
amazing story about a "real life" education. good for all ages. read it
"This story has so much heart. So enjoyable."
Little Tree and Grandpa
An easy, measured pace that helps the story move along at just the speed.
The Education of Little Tree is beautifully written and shares with you the love a little boy has for his grandparents and for his heritage! This is a must read!
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