Stealing Indians (Young Adult Novel)

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Four Indian teens from different regions of America are taken against their will, their lives immutably changed by a government boarding school designed to eradicate their identity.

Wherever these four Indian teens are from, their stories are representative of every such story, every stolen life. So far from home, without family to protect them, only their friendship helps them endure.

Review by Anita: “Kill the Indian save the man” was the mantra of the boarding and residential schools. At times, children as young as 4 years of age were forcefully taken from their home and put into boarding schools. These schools were built to transform Indian people into European-Americans by removing them from their tribe and family in order to destroy their tribal identity, language, religions, customs, and traditions. It is a sad fact that during the boarding school years, thousands of Indian children died from illnesses from which they had no immunity, abuse, malnourishment, and loneliness. The government blamed the deaths on the physical inferiority of the Natives themselves. In more ways than one, the boarding schools were the beginning of the destruction of the Native family. This book “Stealing Indians” tells the story of four students from different parts of the United States, who become friends who help each other cope with the harsh realities of boarding schools. “Stealing Indians” is easy to understand, it reads well without being too graphic and would be ideal for middle school students to read.


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