As you will read in Dovie Thomason's review essay below, Thomasma's books for children are quite a mess. And they're old, too, which should have been a heads-up to the film company. They're not classics or best sellers, but they do get put on lists (such as the Accelerated Reader program) by people who haven't read critically on bias and stereotyping.
Too bad the film makers didn't do more research. Ah, but I err. They're not into it for educational purposes, but for money. Naya Nuki is a Lewis and Clark story. The film makers missed the boat, I think, in the timing for this film, but I suspect they know it will get used again and again in classrooms.
Hmmm.... I wonder. If enough people wrote to the casting company (which is all the info we've got in terms of contacts), might the company drop the book and select another one? I think its worth a try. Write to Rene Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's see what we can do. Read the review below to prep for your letter to Rene. (Note: The review is used by permission of its author and may not be published elsewhere without written consent. You can quote from it and cite this blog as your source. Even better, though, is to buy a copy of A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children, from Oyate. The review and many others are in the book. )
- Amee-nah: Zuni Boy Runs the Race of His Life, illustrated by Jack Brouwer, 1995
- Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers, illustrated by Agnes Vincent Talbot, 1999
- Kunu: Winnebago Boy Escapes, illustrated by Jack Brouwer, 1989
- Moho Wat: Sheepeater Boy Attempts a Rescue, illustrated by Jack Brouwer, 1994
- Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran, illustrated by Eunice Hundley, 1983
- Om-kas-toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog, illustrated by Jack Brouwer, 1986
- Pathki Nana: Kootenai Girl Solves a Mystery, illustrated by Jack Brouwer, 1991
- Soun Tetoken: Nez Perce Boy Tames a Stallion, illustrated by Eunice Hundley, 1984
- The Truth about Sacajawea. 1998 (not part of series)
She could travel swiftly alone. She could run fast if she had to. She could hide in time of danger. She could climb trees to escape wild animals. She could find her own food. She could do it alone. She would do it alone.
“wondered if paper bread really did any good. It was just a paper-thin bread made from cornmeal. It surely couldn’t satisfy a hungry appetite.”