Red White or Blue (Used Paperback) - Sue Hillard
Red White or Blue is a thoroughly researched historical fiction novel set in 1875 and 1876. The story is narrated from two culturally different teen perspectives: Ohanzee, a sixteen-year-old son of a Lakota chief, and Sara, a fifteen-year-old daughter of an army major. Ohanzee's journey is one to regain honor. Sara's journey is one of survival and discovery. From a high ridge in the sacred Black Hills of Dakota Territory, Ohanzee watches white man prospectors discover gold in the creek below. With confirmation of the flood of trespassers, his tribe sends him to a Catholic missionary to learn the ways of the white man so Ohanzee can return home and intellectually protect the Lakota. Sara's journey begins in New York City. As an only child, she lives a rigid life, limited by her over-controlling mother. Although Sara is hesitant to put aside her schooling and dream of becoming a nurse, she readily accompanies her parents west for an assignment at Fort Randall in Dakota Territory. Months later, Sara's and Ohanzee's paths cross as they struggle to survive on the prairie and to reconcile their conflicting core values, customs, faiths, perceptions of the Indian Wars, courting, and death. As they search for the true meaning of life, will they risk everything to save each other? During their journey, Ohanzee and Sara encounter numerous historical figures and events, including Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, William Mayo, Calamity Jane, Grant Marsh, George Armstrong Custer, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Historical details are entwined with the plotline, for an educational and thought provoking study of the controversial period when treaties were disregarded for the sake of Manifest Destiny. Red White or Blue offers an engaging way for teens and adults to experience history. The story illuminates the human condition as Ohanzee attempts to regain honor with his people and Sara struggles to discover her individuality. They face unexpected crisis and humor along their journey which demands cross-cultural reconciliation and self-sacrifice. The novel, Red White or Blue, raises questions of hidden prejudices within ourselves. If the novel is used in an educational setting, the Red White or Blue Student Workbook and the Red White or Blue Teacher's Guide create a comprehensive historical study of our nation's controversial period of 1875-1876.