Sho-Rap Highway : the Native American Firefighters of Wind River
By Robin P. Whiteplume
[Place of publication not identified] : The Author, 2017
Robin Whiteplume thoroughly researches and intimately shares the story of Native American firefighters throughout our nation’s history. Part I details the evolution of Native fire crews from a time when fire suppression was largely a military operation working with the Office of Indian Affairs to provide employment for Native Americans. Whiteplume describes the formation and training of the first Native American firefighting crews by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the1930s. Part II describes the beginnings of the Sho-Rap firefighting crew of the Wind River Agency in 1967. In Part III, Whiteplume shares his personal experiences as a member of the Sho-Rap crew over three decades. This book is well-researched and provides the reader with historical photographs and first-hand accounts. The author has provided so much information, in fact, that some parts of the book are a bit difficult to get through. However, Robin Whiteplume more than compensates with his autobiographical storytelling that allows the reader to emotionally connect with the brave firefighters of the Sho-Rap crew, then and now.
Calla D. Canaday, Circulation Librarian
Niobrara County Library
This book is about six boys living in Casper in 1975, with their stories presented from the perspective of an alien sent to study the irrationality of human life on earth. The characters profiled in this book are diverse, relatable, and well developed. They are entering high school during the period of the alien’s visit, but their backstories extend back so that you have a good understanding of what brought each boy to his current circumstances and attitude. Their stories each pull you in and keep you reading. The boys deal with various family difficulties and changes, breaking up with a first girlfriend, insulting nicknames, bullying, crushed dreams, and more. The context of an alien observer adds some humor, but this would be an enjoyable read even without that element. The serious issues and humorous moments are enjoyably balanced. The book is also full of local and nostalgic details that makes growing up at that time in Wyoming come alive again.
Rykki Neale, Children’s Librarian
La Barge Branch Library