Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey

by Jamake Highwater

Paperback, 1994



Local notes

PB Hig




Scholastic Trade (1994), Paperback


Traditional tales from North American Indian tribes woven into one story that relates the adventures of one boy as he grows to manhood.


Original publication date


Physical description

7.4 inches

Media reviews

Anpao was put forth as the work of a Native man, but "Jamake Highwater" was a pen name for a man named Jack Marks. He was not Native... Can it be used to teach children or young adults about Native people? My answer: no. ...driven by stereotypical and romantic ideas of ...Native people...
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In "Judging Authors by the Color of Their Skin? Quality Native American Children's Literature": "Much controversy surrounds... Highwater, author of Newbery Honor book Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey (1977).... Jolivet discusses some of the controversy surrounding Highwater, explaining that while
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he claims a Blackfoot/Cherokee heritage, many believe this heritage was fabricated in order to sell the book, since he has not been able to substantiate his Indian background...."
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Highwater's subtitle, no idle choice, is a measure of his ambition in this ordering of traditional tales and elements around the wanderings of the invented hero Anpao ("the Dawn"). His story parallels Indian history from creation to white domination.... [O]ne suspects that it is... the author's
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artificial sequencing of separate motifs and tales that makes such serious matters as dying seem totally lacking in consequence. In the end, the character Anpao, through a handy device, lends neither depth nor drama to the material. Nevertheless, HighWater has a firm command of his sources, and this is a serious, craftsmanlike work.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Ogmin
They do not write better books for young adults than this one. With six kids of my own, I have been exposed to many good titles but this is one that both kids and adults can appreciate together. Read it aloud with someone you love, no matter how old they are.
LibraryThing member lc136067
This book is about a brave young man named Anpao, which means the dawn,who wants to win the love of a woman. Her name is Ko-Ko-mik-e-is and she is the prettiest girl in the whole village. Every man wants her as his wife, but she told them all no.Anpao fell in love with her and asked to marry her
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and she said yes. Only problem was she belonged to the Sun god and he would have to find where the Sun lived and ask his permission before she would marry him. So he goes on a long journey and hopes to return and take her as his wife.

I absolutely loved this book! Not only was it a great story but you learn a lot about the Indian culture as well.

In the classroom I would use this as a book that we all read together as a class. It has a great story to it and lots of truth behind the Indian culture.
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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Native American myths collected and told in a novel format. Plains and Southwest Indians.
LibraryThing member electrascaife
Highwater collected stories of Anpao from many different Native American tribes and edited them into a flowing narrative. It's a fun and fascinating read, with all of the qualities of a good myth story. Recommended.


½ (32 ratings; 3.7)
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