Written by William R. Sanford
They called the young warrior “Geronimo.” He would become known for his relentless raids, his numerous escapes from capture, and his resistance to white settler intrusion during westward expansion.
Part of the “Native American Chiefs and Warriors” series, this book examines the life of the legendary Apache Chief Geronimo. Born Go Khla Yeh (One Who Yawns), he grew up in the harsh desert lands of the southwest and belonged to a band of Apaches called the Bedonkohe, known for their hunting and survival skills. They continually battled against the Mexicans, and it was, in fact, Mexican soldiers that bestowed him the nickname “Geronimo.”
Tragedy would strike early in his life when a massacre killed his wife and young children. He vowed to seek revenge for their deaths and gained a reputation as a fierce warrior. Sometimes he would be captured, but he knew how to escape. He was a wanted man, spending most of his life on the run. When Geronimo’s people were forced onto reservations in different parts of the country, he fought for their return to their homeland. It was only after his death in 1909 when some Apache could finally go back to the southwest.
This book would be a great addition to a classroom library or media center, especially for fifth grade students studying biographies or Native American history. Sanford uses Geronimo’s own words and other written accounts to create authenticity. Archival photographs, illustrations, and maps support text complexity while adding interest to the straightforward narrative. Short chapters with simple sentence structures make this book accessible to all fifth grade readers, including reluctant ones. The glossary, index, and extra reading/web resources could also be used for literacy activities. More titles in this series can be found on the publisher’s website: www.enslow.com.