December Wyoming Book Reviews

naapiikoan-winter-coverNáápiikoan Winter
By Alethea Williams
Charleston, S. Car.:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, [2016]

One character is present throughout this work of historical fiction: Buffalo Stone Woman, and the adventure begins with her as a girl, Isobel. Buffalo Stone Woman, Sweetgrass Woman, Bear Dog, and Donal Thomas (a Náápiikoan, or white man with the Hudson Bay Company) find themselves living with the Piikani (Blackfoot of the Northern Plains). They individually struggle to fit in with a tribe not their own, and to gain honor, respect, and personal fulfillment. They must navigate within defined roles for the Piikani, according to gender, age, and their usefulness within the family and to the tribe. The cultural differences between the Piikani and the white man foster mistrust and misunderstanding and lead to unintended but significant consequences for the main characters. Náápikoan Winter offers the reader a story that engages, is far from predictable, and is thought-provoking. The character development reflects the reality of flawed human decision-making, motivated by greed, emotions, and pride.

Renee Hanlin, Childre’s Services Librarian
Powell Branch Library

ancient-wyomingAncient Wyoming: A Dozen Lost Worlds Based on the Geology of the Bighorn Basin
By Kirk Johnson and Will Clyde
Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Publishing, 2016

Authors Kirk Johnson and Will Clyde bring the evolution of the land, plants and animals of Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin to vivid life for readers of all ages. According to them “…the Bighorn Basin may be the best place on Earth to tell the story of our planet.” Twelve distinct periods in the life of the Bighorn Basin are explained and illustrated with carefully researched paintings by Jan Vriesen and detailed maps, charts and illustrations by Marjorie Leggitt. The paintings illustrating each period covered show what the geological evidence has revealed about the evolution of the landscape of the Bighorn Basin. These and the maps, charts, and drawings that accompany the text provide a better understanding of the enormous changes that took place over millions of years in a way that is accessible to young people and adults interested in the history of our planet.

Frances B. Clymer, Director
Park County Library System

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