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A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

by Tim Tingle
illustrated by Karen Clarkson
Currently out of stock.

WordCraft Circle Children's Literature Award 2012
American Indian Youth Literature Award, Picture Book category, Honor Book
ALSC Notable Children's Book
2011 Storytelling World Resource Award (Adolscent Listeners, honor)
2011 Skipping Stones Honor Award
2011 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, Grades 4-6
"I always knew we were Choctaws, but as a child I never understood that we were Indians. The movies and books about Indians showed Indians on horseback. My family drove cars and pickup trucks. Movie Indians lived in teepees. We lived in modern houses. Indians in books and on television hunted with bows and arrows. My father and my uncles hunted, too, with shotguns, but mostly they fished." — From Tim Tingle's essay "How Much Should We Tell Them" at the back of Saltypie

"This book is exceptional." — Debbie Reese

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-933693-67-3
13-digit ISBN9781933693675
Page Count40
Product Dimensions8.5" x 11" x .25"
Publication DateJune 1, 2010
RightsAll Rights Available
Bee stings on the backside! And that was just the beginning. Tim was about to enter a world of the past, with bullying boys and stones and Indian spirits of long ago. But they were real spirits, real stones, and very real memories…

In this powerful family saga, Choctaw author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family’s move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, Texas. Spanning fifty years, Saltypie describes the problems encountered by his Choctaw grandmother—from her orphan days at an Indian boarding school to hardships encountered in her new home on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Tingle says, “Stories of modern Indian families rarely grace the printed page. Long before I began writing, I knew this story must be told.” Seen through the innocent eyes of a young boy, Saltypie is the story of one family’s efforts to honor the past while struggling to gain a foothold in modern America. More than an Indian story, Saltypie is an American story, of hardships shared and the joy of overcoming.

Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a sought-after storyteller for folklore festivals, library conferences, and schools across America. At the request of Choctaw Chief Pyle, Tim tells a story to the tribe every year before Pyle’s State of the Nation Address at the Choctaw Labor Day Gathering. Tim’s previous and often reprinted books from Cinco Puntos Press—Walking the Choctaw Road and Crossing Bok Chitto—received numerous awards nationally, but what makes Tim the proudest is the recognition he receives from the American Indian communities around the country.

Karen Clarkson, a Choctaw tribal member, is a self-taught artist who specializes in portraits of Native Americans. She did not start painting until after her children had left home; she has since been widely acclaimed as a Native American painter. She lives in San Leandro, California.
Debbie Reese
This book is exceptional. When people ask me for a short list of recommended books, Saltypie is going to be on that list.
- Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature blog,  Visit Website
full review >>
Looking back to his childhood, Choctaw storyteller Tingle introduces his capable, comforting Mawmaw (grandmother); recalls his shock as a six-year-old at realizing that she was blind (possibly, he learns, as a result of a racially motivated assault in her own youth); and recounts a hospital vigil years afterward when she received an eye transplant. His strong, measured prose finds able counterpart in Clarkson’s subtly modeled, full-bleed close-ups of eloquently expressive faces and closely gathered members of the author’s large extended family.

The title comes from a word invented by Tingle’s father as a stand-in for any sort of pain or distress, and its use serves to enhance the vivid sense of intimacy that pervades this reminiscence. A lengthy afterword provides more details about Tingle’s family and Choctaw culture, and offers much to think about regarding American Indian stereotypes.
- May 1, 2010 
Publishers Weekly
[A] quietly poetic story about dealing with adversity.
- April 26, 2010 
full review >>
Kirkus Reviews
Clarkson’s evocative illustrations bathe each scene in a soft light that accentuates the warmth of the family’s love.
- April 15, 2010 
full review >>
Randomly Reading
[Saltypie] is complimented by Karen Clarkson's softly painted illustrations that really capture all the emotions of the family on each page, but especially the last image of Mawmaw, whose eyes are open for the first time since that fateful morning in 1915.
- November 30, 2016  Visit Website
full review >>
School Library Journal
The large, full-spread illustrations are vibrant…A lovely piece of family history.
- May 1, 2010 
full review >>
Tucson Citizen
An American story that underscores the joys of overcoming hardships.
The author subtly touches on [racism and stereotyping] by gently challenging American ideas of "Indians" with pictures of regular people having regular lives. And the "How Much Can We Tell Them?" section in the back of the book, directed at adults, invites us to see our cultural biases and to teach our children to see and understand the truth of the people around us.
- May 20, 2011 
Review of Texas Books
An unexpected and thought provoking multi-generational story.
- Andrea Karlin, 
full review >>
El Paso Scene
Tingle, once again, produces a tale well-told, well-remembered and destined to be well received by readers of all ages.
- Lisa Kay Tate, 
full review >>
Click here to view all the reviews

Other books by this author...

Walking the Choctaw Road
by Tim Tingle
Price $10.95

Walking the Choctaw Road
by Tim Tingle
Price $16.95

Crossing Bok Chitto
by Tim Tingle
Price $8.95

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