Published in 1990, The Legend of Jimmy Spoon by Kristiana Gregory is the story of a young boy who feels stifled by his pioneer life in a city near The Great Salt Lake. He inadvertently runs away from home and ends up with Chief Washakie's tribe of Native Americans. This is a fiction based on a true story.
I liked this book because I think children, especially boys, will enjoy this adventure story. I also like that Gregory doesn't tell the reader what is good or bad. She gives us Jimmy's reactions to the traditions of Washakie's tribe. She also shows Jimmy's reactions to the way the pioneers live.
I think a young reader will understand Jimmy's desire to have a pony and his aversion to being cooped up in store all day. They will also sympathize with his struggles to control his temper and his body's adjustment to living a tougher lifestyle. I liked the progression of Jimmy Spoon's character, although I found his attitude towards his birth family a bit heartless. Of course he lived in a time where young boys were expected to take over the family business, so I won't judge him too harshly for trying to make his own way.
This book may give your reader the desire to learn more about conservation efforts, the plight of our country's indigenous population, and early pioneer history.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies.