Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Recommended Grades: 4-6

The story of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker was passed down to the author as part of the North American Indian oral tradition.  Hiawatha is a brave Mohawk warrior who has lost his family in battle and wants revenge against the evil Chief, who is inciting fighting among the five Iroquois tribes.  When the Peacemaker (prophet) appears one day to unite the warring tribes, he uses Hiawatha to communicate his message.  This message of peace not only changes the ways of the Iroquois people forever, but also transforms Hiawatha’s mind and heart.  

Lesson Idea:

Mentor Text: Biography/Traditional Literature: Read aloud Hiawatha and the Peacemaker as part of a unit on Native American culture.  The author’s note indicates that Robertson heard the story of Hiawatha from a Native American elder while visiting relatives at Six Nations of the Grand River when he was a child.  Hiawatha and the Peacemaker provides background as to how the Great Law of Peace came to govern the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.  David Shannon’s beautiful illustrations complement the telling of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker nicely.  Pair Hiawatha with The Very First Americans.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

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