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Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend by Terri…

Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend

by Terri Cohlene

Other authors: Charles Reasoner (Illustrator)

Series: Native American Legends

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This Navajo legend tells the tale of how elders took the journey to bring horses unto the native land. A Navajo Boy collects gifts from spirits and under the guidance of his mother, and an appearance from his father, manages to help raise horses to help the Navajo.

Personal Reaction:
Being Native American, I loved this book and the legend behind it. I was reminded of how my grandfather told me legends and raised my cousins and I to be proud of the old stories.

Classroom Extension:
Maybe ask if the kids had any family stories of their own, or if they could bring back any legends from home to share with everyone. ( )
  TimothyOtotivo77 | Mar 26, 2015 |
Summary: Was a story about a young Navajo boy who wanted to make life easier for his people. He had asked his mother, the talking Gods of the East, West, North and South, and the Mirage Man.

Personal Reflection: It tells a story that doesn't always have an easy answer to what seems to be an easy question. Life is tough and sometimes, there is no easy solution to a problem.

Classroom Extension:
1. Teach problem solving, finding solutions or courses of action to fix a problem or to make something better.
2. Use to learn about how different cultures live and what their daily lives are like.
  jerryrichardson | Mar 22, 2015 |
One of Terri Cohlene's six contributions to the larger Native American Legends series - I have also read her Clamshell Boy: A Makah Legend and Dancing Drum: A Cherokee Legend - this book sets out the traditional Navajo tale (so I assume - see below for more details) of Turquoise Boy, one of Changing Woman's two sons, who goes on a quest to find a way to make life easier for the People. Seeking aid from the Talking Gods of the White Shell Mountain of the East, the Turquoise Mountain of the South, the Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain of the West, and the Black Jet Mountain of the North, Turquoise Boy finds himself the recipient of many gifts, but no answers to his question. Even his father, the Sun Bearer, seems unable to help him. Then Turquoise Boy happens upon Mirage Man, and with his gifts - and his mother's help - he brings a wonderful new helper into the world for the People: the horse.

Unfortunately, as with Cohlene's other folkloric retellings, I couldn't find any mention of source material in Turquoise Boy, although there is an entire page for photo credits, at the rear. A list of further reading ideas - both factual and folkloric - and a discussion of where the author found her stories (a Native storyteller? a written collection of tales?) would add a great deal to the books in this series, and the absence of such material really made me wonder. I'd like to take it on trust that this is an authentic retelling, rather than a derivative and exploitative rip-off, but given the poor track record, when it comes to the presentation of Native American material in children's books, I feel rather skeptical. As mentioned above, this is my third Cohlene title, which means I have three yet to read (I currently have all six checked out of the library) - so we'll see whether the others have the same problem. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
Turquoise Boy is a Navajo Legend about how the Navahos acquired horses. The story is quite long and will require a strong background knowledge of Native American culture or a review of key vocabulary used in the book. It is an excellent resource for students exploring Southwest NAtive American culture.
  materials2012 | Sep 12, 2012 |
The myth of Turquoise Boy teaches and reflects on how animals are just as important to earth as humans are. Pages 32-47 have a brief history of the Navajo people and their customs. Besides beautiful watercolor illustrations it also includes photography of the Navajo people, their art, where they live, and costumes/masks of their gods. 5 stars. ( )
  ander23 | Apr 21, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terri Cohleneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reasoner, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816723605, Paperback)

A retelling of a Navajo Indian legend in which Turquoise Boy searches for something that will make the Navajo people's lives easier. Includes a brief history of the Navajo people and their customs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A retelling of a Navajo Indian legend in which Turquoise Boy searches for something that will make the Navajo people's lives easier. Includes a brief history of the Navajo people and their customs.

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