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The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. Little Tree as his grandparents call him is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of


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The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. Little Tree as his grandparents call him is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. Little Tree as his grandparents call him is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course. Little Tree also learns the often callous ways of white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is taken away by whites for schooling, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them and of Little Tree's perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee Way. A classic of its era, and an enduring book for all ages, The Education of Little Tree has now been redesigned for this twenty-fifth anniversary edition.

18 review for The Education of Little Tree

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    The closest this book gets to touching nature is the sweet sappiness of the story. Though the author put the story forward as true, he was not actually a Native, but a racist con-man who fought to keep segregation and was a member of the KKK. But this revelation shouldn't be that surprising, since the book is hardly insightful or sensitive in its views. Carter's characters are old, romanticized cliches of the colonial 'Noble Savage'--poor Indians beset by the white man's greed trying to eke a pe The closest this book gets to touching nature is the sweet sappiness of the story. Though the author put the story forward as true, he was not actually a Native, but a racist con-man who fought to keep segregation and was a member of the KKK. But this revelation shouldn't be that surprising, since the book is hardly insightful or sensitive in its views. Carter's characters are old, romanticized cliches of the colonial 'Noble Savage'--poor Indians beset by the white man's greed trying to eke a peaceful and natural existence out in the wild of nature. It should remind us all that an overly rosy view can be just as racist and condescending as a negative one.Carter is just another in a long line of people who tried to make themselves more mysterious and interesting by making up a distant Native ancestor and then claiming it gives them some kind of spiritual and moral superiority. I guess I should mention here that it's overtly racist to imagine that a fully-formed culture can be propagated through blood, as if Native peoples were magic elves.But people like to individualize themselves, and if that means they have to create a culture from whole cloth to belong to, that isn't going to stop them, whether it's someone bringing up their '1/16th Cherokee blood' or a Wiccan who doesn't realize they're following Christian mysticism, conspiracy theories, and some stuff that was made up by delusionals and con-men.And if that wasn't enough to tip us off, there's also a lengthy sambo slapstick scene almost as insulting to blacks as Martin Lawrence in a fatsuit. It just goes to show that it's easy to fool people with over-the-top cliches and over-romanticized characters. Even Oprah was taken in, featuring this book in her reading club--but perhaps it shouldn't surprise us that one purveyor of ill-informed saccharine melodrama should be taken in by another.In the end, we get a sort of literary version of the blackface minstrel show, depicting Native life with a quaint nostalgia that has nothing to do with the real experience of Natives or their history. Instead, everything is boiled down into a simple little story--almost a fable--of how the colonial mindset would prefer to see Natives: as fundamentally separate in vague, mystical ways. They are so oversimplified (as heroes or villains) that they no longer resemble real people; instead, they are reduced to a subspecies of man defined by a set of universally shared traits. Their identity is primarily communal, primarily traditional, incapable of change, learning, or individuality.It's hard for me to think of a more pointed definition or racism than 'assuming that a group of people, similar in appearance and ancestry, all share a series of invariable traits which make them fundamentally and inescapably different from every other individual and people group'.Like 'The Kite Runner', this is just another book that assuages white guilt by making white readers feel that, in just picking up a book, they have become worldly, understanding, and compassionate--despite the fact that neither book really reveals the culture it set out to depict, and could not provide any real insight to anyone who was in the least familiar with how those cultures actually work.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lawyer

    The Education of Little Tree: Which is Right The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter was chosen as the Pre-1980 Group Read by members of On the Southern Literary Trail for June, 2016. Special thanks to Trail Member Tina for nominating this work. The Education of Little Tree, First Edition, Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1976 Forrest Carter, 1975 This is my third read of this book. It means much to me. For it speaks of the love shared by a young boy and hi The Education of Little Tree: Which is Right The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter was chosen as the Pre-1980 Group Read by members of On the Southern Literary Trail for June, 2016. Special thanks to Trail Member Tina for nominating this work. The Education of Little Tree, First Edition, Delacorte Press, New York, New York, 1976 Forrest Carter, 1975 This is my third read of this book. It means much to me. For it speaks of the love shared by a young boy and his grandparents. Orphaned at five, Little Tree, a Cherokee Indian, is taken into the home of Granma and Granpa.My Mother married young. On a dare, no less. Crossing the Mississippi state line where it was possible to marry at a younger age without parental consent. My father decided he was much too young to be one, though I guess he enjoyed making me. When he abandoned my mother and me I was a week old. We were taken in by my mother's parents.I was raised in my Grandparents' home. My Mother completed her growing up in that home. Although I came to excel academically throughout my years in school, without doubt, my most valuable education did not come from text books but my Grandparents, especially my Grandfather, who was always Papa to me.I recognize much of this book as the truth. It is a beautiful and wondrous truth. I share much in common with Little Tree. The lessons he was taught by his Grandparents are tenets for a more full and complete life. Living in harmony with the environment. Take only what you need. To take more is only greed. Tolerance for those different than us. Living simply, recognizing the difference between needs and wants. Accepting your self worth, though you may be looked down upon by others who consider themselves higher than you by their perception of social stature, the value of the roots of the history of your people or family. The acceptance of the passing of all things. This is the nature of life. Embrace these truths and live fully, or live in anxiety and stuggle in futility. Live in despair and desparation. I was taught these same truths.When this little book was first published, it attracted little attention, little acclaim, no fanfare. It was not until the University of New Mexico issued a paperback edition of the book in 1980 that The Education of Little Tree became a publishing phenomenon. The book was introduced by a Cherokee Native American whose ancestors had been moved from their homes during the infamous Trail of Tears. Forrest Carter had written the book as his autobiographical memoir. He billed himself as a Storyteller to the Cherokee Nation. It is frequently on the reading curriculum of many high schools. Copies have sold in the millions.Who is Forrest Carter?In 1975 a darkly tanned man with a mustache walked into an Abilene, Texas, bookstore owned by Chuck and Betty Weeth. He introduced himself as Forrest Carter. He had written his first book, Gone to Texas under the name Benjamin Franklin Carter. That book was reprinted under the title The Outlaw Josey Wales under the name Forrest Carter. Clint Eastwood bought the film rights. Carter was doing well. He became an Abilene, Texas, fixture and was a regular dinner guest at the Shipps. It was there Carter began telling his story of being raised as a Cherokee orphan by his grandparents in Tennessee and he was writing his biography.But Forrest Carter had a past. He wasn't a Cherokee. He wasn't from Tennessee. He was Asa Carter, born in 1925 in Anniston, Alabama. During the 1950s he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of a white supremacy group. He formed a splinter group of the KKK which was responsible for an attack on Nat King Cole at a concert in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1956. Carter worked at Birmingham radio station WILD where he broadcast right wing programs supporting anti-semitism and blatant segregation. Asa Carter, Speech Writer Carter became a speech writer for Governor George Wallace in the 1960s, penning the vitriolic first Inauguration Speech containing the infamous line, "Segregation now, segregation forever." Carter continued to work through the administration of Governor Lurleen Wallace, who ran in her husband's stead when he could not run for a successive third term.However, Carter and George Wallace had a parting of the ways. When Wallace ran for a third term as Governor in 1970 and was elected again, Wallace pushed Carter to the side. Wallace had toned down his segregationist rhetoric. He saw Carter as an extremist. Wallace had no more use for him. On the day of Wallace's third Inauguration, Alabama journalist and author Wayne Greenhaw found Carter behind the State Capital crying. Carter told Greenhaw Wallace had sold out Alabama to the liberals. It was the last time Greenhaw ever saw Carter in person.But Greenhaw did see a televised interview between a man who called himself Forrest Carter and Barbara Walters on The Today Show in 1976 talking about his "Autobiography," The Education of Little Tree. Greenhaw recognized the voice and began asking questions of Asa Carter's old associates.Greenhaw got a phone call from Carter. "You wouldn't want to hurt old Forrest, would you?" Greenhaw retorted it was all a lie. And he would prove it. Carter hung up. And disappeared once more.Forrest Carter was Asa Carter. He died June 7, 1979, of heart failure in Abilene, Texas. He was at work on The Wonderings of Little Tree which was unfinished. He is buried in Anniston, Alabama.Should This Book Be Read?This book has been subject to much criticism, most of it based on the personal and political life of Asa Carter. Is this the proper basis for judging a work of literature?I say it is not. Whatever Asa Carter's actual political beliefs were at one time does not mean he still possessed those beliefs at the time he wrote The Education of Little Tree. His relationship with the Shipps in Abilene, Texas, indicate a completely different person than the man who worked for George Wallace.His editor at Delacorte Press, Eleanor Friede, and her husband were Jewish. He was a frequent guest in their home. Carter never uttered a word of intolerance in their presence.The Education of Little Tree is a work about love and tolerance. The racists in this book are wealthy whites, bureaucrats, politicians, and intolerant preachers. Perhaps Carter portrayed that so well because he knew what it was to hate.Native Americans and blacks are respectfully and sympathetically portrayed. For Asa Carter's previous anti-semitic assertions in earlier years, the kindest person in this work aside from Little Tree's Grandparents, is Mr. Wine. A Jew.To refuse to read this book because of Asa Carter's previous political life is a form of censorship. I do not believe in censorship in any form. Nor the banning of books. There is far too much of that as it is.Do not think I write an apologia for Asa Carter. I detest what he once stood for. However, I am ever mindful of the resilience of human beings and their ability to change. Hatred is a heavy burden to bear. If not exorcised it will destroy the one who carries it. Perhaps Carter wrote this as his penance.I believe in the possibility of redemption. As Little Tree would say, "Which is right."EXTRASAct One. Seeing the Forrest Through the Little Trees. A Transcript from This American Life concerning Forrest/Asa Carter and The Education of Little Tree

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leah Higginbotham

    *Note: there is a lot of controversy and here say about the author of this book. Forget about it and enjoy this book with an innocent mind!The Education of Little Tree follows a young boy as he follows his Grandpa, learning and loving as he goes. From plowing to whiskey making, it divinely illustrates the power of self. Regardless of external influences, industry, growth, abundance, and love can be grown and cultivated. This book was so deep and enriching on so many levels. It made me look at my *Note: there is a lot of controversy and here say about the author of this book. Forget about it and enjoy this book with an innocent mind!The Education of Little Tree follows a young boy as he follows his Grandpa, learning and loving as he goes. From plowing to whiskey making, it divinely illustrates the power of self. Regardless of external influences, industry, growth, abundance, and love can be grown and cultivated. This book was so deep and enriching on so many levels. It made me look at my own life and what aspects of it were in harmony or out of harmony. Little Tree and his Grandparents lived with the land, not in spite of it like I feel a lot of our population is doing now. It motivated me to plant a good garden, enjoy nature more, love more. One aspect of the book that I really looked deeply at was the small side story of the sharecroppers. They were always going from place to place without ever enough money, food, clothing, etc. They depended heavily on others for their lifestyle. Little Tree and his family lived with the land and met their own needs accordingly, therefore thriving and not left wanting. They lived simply, within their means, and appreciated much. So which of my needs am I meeting through my own means? Naturally, I'm not going to move to a cabin in the woods with no electricity or plumbing. But am I relying too heavily on someone else for my food? My retirement? My happiness? Through my tears upon finishing The Education of Little Tree, I felt gratitude in knowing that true happiness does not come in the form of big houses and fancy cars. I'm working, striving to become more self-reliant, and enjoying the tender moments I have with my sweet family. I plan on making this a regular read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    wheels

    embarrassing. after caty informed me, i googled the author and learned that the original edition was published as an autobiography, though carter is not of native american heritage, was a leader in the klu klux klan, and active as a segregtionist. wow, huh? if you ever want a defintion of appropriation and cultural theft, here's an exemplary one. (my tattered copy was dubbed as an autobiography.) embarrassing. after caty informed me, i googled the author and learned that the original edition was published as an autobiography, though carter is not of native american heritage, was a leader in the klu klux klan, and active as a segregtionist. wow, huh? if you ever want a defintion of appropriation and cultural theft, here's an exemplary one. (my tattered copy was dubbed as an autobiography.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wojtalik-courter

    I remembered enjoying this book when i read it about fifteen years ago. I stuck in on my list of 'have-reads' and gave it high marks. Then I read a little bit about this author. I just am flummoxed, though I shouldn't be; the levels to which people will stoop. Well, you can't deny he was a decent teller of tales, or lies, as Mark Twain might have said. A klansman who formed his own chapter, took part in lynchings, was a political writer who wrote George Wallace's infamous line, 'segregation now, I remembered enjoying this book when i read it about fifteen years ago. I stuck in on my list of 'have-reads' and gave it high marks. Then I read a little bit about this author. I just am flummoxed, though I shouldn't be; the levels to which people will stoop. Well, you can't deny he was a decent teller of tales, or lies, as Mark Twain might have said. A klansman who formed his own chapter, took part in lynchings, was a political writer who wrote George Wallace's infamous line, 'segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever'; this was an evil man who hated the very people to whom this book might have some appeal. I feel somewhat dirty for having enjoyed it, though somewhat hypocritical for not liking it now. Shouldn't art stand on its own? Should I not enjoy Wagner because he was an anti-Semite? Great googley moogley! I'm gonna have to go with erring on the side of my conscience on this one and recant my rating. He misrepresented the story as a true autobiography (though that, in itself, isn't enough; art is largely artifice), and he is not Wagner. This was just a good story, or at least an appealing one, that was made larger by the belief that it was real, and to discover exactly how unreal it was destroys the illusion. And in art, the illusion is everything.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

    I got out of college without reading a heck of a lot of classic literature, American or otherwise. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time. I picked up The Education of Little Tree because there happened to be a copy here at my sister's house. I vaguely remembered there being some controversy á la Rigoberta Menchú or Nick Frey. The reissue I have from 1999 has "AMERICAN INDIANS/FICTION" on the back cover, but the introduction calls it "[Forrest Carter's] autobiographical remembrances of life wit I got out of college without reading a heck of a lot of classic literature, American or otherwise. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time. I picked up The Education of Little Tree because there happened to be a copy here at my sister's house. I vaguely remembered there being some controversy á la Rigoberta Menchú or Nick Frey. The reissue I have from 1999 has "AMERICAN INDIANS/FICTION" on the back cover, but the introduction calls it "[Forrest Carter's] autobiographical remembrances of life with his Eastern Cherokee Hill country grandparents." I decided to just go ahead and read the book, then google it later.Pre-google review:Touching - checkSage - checkWell-written - checkThe characters were quite endearing and an interesting story unfolds before the backdrop of the Great Depression.Post-google review:You poser!This article in salon.com, entitled "The Education of Little Fraud" slams Forrest Carter (actually Asa Carter), pointing out that he was a founder of the Ku Klux Klan. http://archive.salon.com/books/featur...That's a detail that's hard to overlook. Then there's the fact that actual Cherokee Indians have said the book is inaccurate and tends toward the "Noble Savage" take on things.Honestly, where does that leave us?I guess I'm just going to have to call a spade a spade, or, in this case, call fiction fiction and just leave it at that. It's still a good read, taken with a grain of salt. I guess I won't base my entire understanding of the Cherokee way of life on this single 216-page novel. Nor my knowledge of Mayan cosmology on Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto." Now that's a lesson to take home.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tim Henkels

    Interesting book, especially in the fact that the writer was also a speech writer for George Wallace, infamous Southern biggot and racist. Maybe that shows Carter´s true talent then, the ability to switch between such different literary voices...the question is, which voice is his?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla

    Just finished this and I loved it. I will have to add this one to my list of Favorites. All told from the mouth of a 5 year old... Maybe that's why I was so entertained. I'm surrounded by kids all the time anyway.The wisdom and utter innocence of Little tree was so refreshing I felt like I was being schooled by a 5 year old. I loved learning about all the Indian traditions. Toward the end when he had to leave, I was so sad I ached for Little tree and his Grandparents. I fell in love with them an Just finished this and I loved it. I will have to add this one to my list of Favorites. All told from the mouth of a 5 year old... Maybe that's why I was so entertained. I'm surrounded by kids all the time anyway.The wisdom and utter innocence of Little tree was so refreshing I felt like I was being schooled by a 5 year old. I loved learning about all the Indian traditions. Toward the end when he had to leave, I was so sad I ached for Little tree and his Grandparents. I fell in love with them and Willow John and in the end when they passed I felt as if I too needed to mourn.I haven't been so emotionally connected like this to a book in a long time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tuck

    Neat coming of age story bout a kid with n North Carolina mountain na during depression. Raised by Cherokee grandma and grandpa. Good details on farming , moon shining, walking in the woods.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vannessa Anderson

    The Education of Little Tree touched me on every emotional level!Little Tree, at age four, went to live with his grandparents after the death of his mom; only a year earlier he’d lost his dad. Little Tree’s grandparents, in their seventies, knew they probably only had a few years to teach Little Tree everything he needed to know to survive on his own started teaching him life’s skills upon their arrival to bring him home to live with them. The story took place in the Appalachian mountains of Ten The Education of Little Tree touched me on every emotional level!Little Tree, at age four, went to live with his grandparents after the death of his mom; only a year earlier he’d lost his dad. Little Tree’s grandparents, in their seventies, knew they probably only had a few years to teach Little Tree everything he needed to know to survive on his own started teaching him life’s skills upon their arrival to bring him home to live with them. The story took place in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression.While Little Tree was being educated, so was I. Author Carter’s extraordinary imagination and writing skills made me care deeply about Little Tree, his grandparents, and his grandparents friends who stood in courage in spite of the horrendous lifestyle they were force to endure. The Education of Little Tree is on a subject that many would like for us to forget. The Education of Little Tree is filled with history and so much useful information on surviving that you’ll want to write the information down. The Education of Little Tree will serve as a guide to effective parenting. The Education of Little Tree is a book that I will read over and over because with each read, I’ll learn something that I’d missed in a previous reading. The Education of Little Tree was my favorite book of 2012!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I remember my mother mentioning to me how good this book was said to be when I was a kid in Chattanooga, and then a few years later, how she mentioned the book was written by a former KKK member and was a lie. I also didn't remember this book ever coming up in discussions in creative writing classes about falsehoods and plagiarism and the like, nor do I remember it being mentioned in my American Indian classes.I held off on reading this book, mostly because I wasn't sure what this knowledge woul I remember my mother mentioning to me how good this book was said to be when I was a kid in Chattanooga, and then a few years later, how she mentioned the book was written by a former KKK member and was a lie. I also didn't remember this book ever coming up in discussions in creative writing classes about falsehoods and plagiarism and the like, nor do I remember it being mentioned in my American Indian classes.I held off on reading this book, mostly because I wasn't sure what this knowledge would bring to the text. Are these elements forgivable? It's such a strange story. I watched a documentary on Asa Carter's life and it wasn't clear whether Carter had changed his white supremacist viewpoint, though he had certainly changed his whole life to fit into the fiction of his story--his neighbors and friends were surprised when they learned of his hooded past. He continued to refuse the Asa Earl Carter background, despite rising evidence to the contrary, until his death.The book itself is fine--the voice has some charm, though there is a bit of sappiness and stereotype, particularly that of the 'Noble Savage,' that gave me some discomfort. There are elements that I've always enjoyed reading about--the concept of creating most of one's own things, the library and reading traditions of the family, the intimate observation of the natural world, the importance of family. And I *will* admit to crying at the end (pregnancy hormones?) when the grandmother passes and a note is left for Little Tree that promises they will do it better next time: I thought, as my husband eased our daughter to sleep, aren't we getting it right this time around? I was frightened, I think, of the idea that right here, right now, isn't better, and I was saddened, I know, at how many lives there are out there that aren't right and how lucky we are. To me, if a book can move me to be reminded of those things, I can forgive, just a little, the author's mighty awful past.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Moes

    Having just finished reading this beautiful story I discovered the controversy surrounding it and its author, only serving to deepen my appreciation for its significance. I found the story beautiful and spiritually moving, making note of several passages that I would like to refer back to from time to time. It is a beautiful story written on the theme of simplicity and natural living. Although it is introduced as an autobiographical account, posterity has unveiled its fictional origins. To me, t Having just finished reading this beautiful story I discovered the controversy surrounding it and its author, only serving to deepen my appreciation for its significance. I found the story beautiful and spiritually moving, making note of several passages that I would like to refer back to from time to time. It is a beautiful story written on the theme of simplicity and natural living. Although it is introduced as an autobiographical account, posterity has unveiled its fictional origins. To me, this actually liberates the story from the necessity of authenticity and elevates its moral message to a universal one. This is as opposed to an authentic portrayal of the Cherokee, something I really did not find to be the point in the first place. I would strongly recommend this book for others, young and older, and especially educators, as I found it relevant to reflect on the educational ramifications as we frame the debate today to be between “academic achievement” vs. “human development”.The controversies regarding the author and the so-called stereotypes really make the book even more intriguing in the sense that it would seem the book does indeed serve as the author’s atonement for a life wasted in racist loyalties and personal bigotry. From the author’s biography it would seem that sometime between ending his political career and becoming an author that he really sought to become someone better. In this sense, his fabricated autobiography can be seen as part of this transformation, to the extent of projecting a totally different childhood, value system and worldview other than his own. As others have expressed bafflement at his intentions, I cannot believe that a work as touching and profound as The Education of Little Tree be anything less than sincere.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    I really enjoyed this book! The Education of Little Tree is the story of a young orphaned 5-year old boy called Little Tree, who is taken in by his half-Cherokee Granpa and Cherokee Granma. The story takes place during the Great Depression in the mountains of Tennessee. “Little Tree” learns how to survive in the mountains and how to respect nature. He also learns the ways of the whites, especially the politicians and tax collectors who are trying to put Granpa out of his whiskey business. The bo I really enjoyed this book! The Education of Little Tree is the story of a young orphaned 5-year old boy called Little Tree, who is taken in by his half-Cherokee Granpa and Cherokee Granma. The story takes place during the Great Depression in the mountains of Tennessee. “Little Tree” learns how to survive in the mountains and how to respect nature. He also learns the ways of the whites, especially the politicians and tax collectors who are trying to put Granpa out of his whiskey business. The book is full of wisdom and sometimes hilarious anecdotes relating how Granpa keeps his business afloat and scares off would be investors in his business. While Granpa teaches Little Tree the ways of nature and his trade (whiskey making), Granma teaches him how to read and the benefits of an education. Towards the end of the story, Little Tree is taken away from his grandparents and placed in an orphanage to get a better education, but ends up being beaten and abused by the system. This was a very inspiring story and many consider this a classic along with Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. When it was originally published, it was touted as a true memoir of the author. However, it was later shown to be mostly fiction and it was found out that the author was a former member of the KKK and a speechwriter for Alabama Governor George Wallace. See this Wikipedia article on the book and its author. Not sure how an ex-KKK member could write such a moving and inspiring story but overall, I would still highly recommend this!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barb Graf

    I first heard of this book on an Oprah show probably in the mid 1990's; she said such high praise of it. (I understand later she "took it off" her book shelf due to the controversy around the author's racism). I am not in any way supportive of racism; but this book appears to be something very good that the author did and that Oprah had recognized. That is why I first read it and I have passed it on to many people cause I liked it so much. It did seem to start a bit slow for me the first time I I first heard of this book on an Oprah show probably in the mid 1990's; she said such high praise of it. (I understand later she "took it off" her book shelf due to the controversy around the author's racism). I am not in any way supportive of racism; but this book appears to be something very good that the author did and that Oprah had recognized. That is why I first read it and I have passed it on to many people cause I liked it so much. It did seem to start a bit slow for me the first time I read it and with much sadness in the young boy's life. I had not seen it for some time then got a copy just a few years ago and then I started passing it around again and was so delighted that my mother-in-law really liked it. She read so many books; we had fun one Christmas that she gave it as gifts to several grandchildren; those of us who had read it enjoyed telling our favorite part of the book. There is a certain innocence that comes out in it; but it is evident that the author was hurt by losses/ his life story (another book that is loosely autobiographical: Forrest = Little Tree).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hughes

    I don't know how this has slipped under my radar for so long. Little Tree has captured my heart. This was a beautiful and poignant memoir of a Cherokee boy raised by his grandparents in the Depression. The narrator's voice as a young child was so sweet and completely believable and captivating. I feel like saying too much would be inappropriate for a book like this, since as Little Tree says, "Granpa said if there was less words, there wouldn't be as much trouble in the world."On L.T.'s 6th birt I don't know how this has slipped under my radar for so long. Little Tree has captured my heart. This was a beautiful and poignant memoir of a Cherokee boy raised by his grandparents in the Depression. The narrator's voice as a young child was so sweet and completely believable and captivating. I feel like saying too much would be inappropriate for a book like this, since as Little Tree says, "Granpa said if there was less words, there wouldn't be as much trouble in the world."On L.T.'s 6th birthday: "Granma said I was lucky, and more than likely one in a hundred million. ... I told Granma I was right proud of the whole thing; and right off, I could tell that I wasn't afraid of dark in the hollows anymore. Granpa said I had the uppers on him, being born special and all. He said he wished he had been picked out for such. Granpa said he had always been hampered with a suspicion of being frightened of the dark, and now would total depend on me to lead him about in dark situations. Which I told him I would."

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Hilton

    This is a beautiful little book that follows the story of 5 year old orphan Little Tree who is taken in, loved deeply, and guided thoughtfully by his grandparents in the Cherokee tradition during the Great Depression. It is a nice contrast to Sherman Alexie's "Diary of a Part Time Indian," as it show Native Americans in wholly different setting but with some of the same values.Carter's writing is elegant in its simplicity. Little Tree's narration is believable and compelling. Each chapter is its This is a beautiful little book that follows the story of 5 year old orphan Little Tree who is taken in, loved deeply, and guided thoughtfully by his grandparents in the Cherokee tradition during the Great Depression. It is a nice contrast to Sherman Alexie's "Diary of a Part Time Indian," as it show Native Americans in wholly different setting but with some of the same values.Carter's writing is elegant in its simplicity. Little Tree's narration is believable and compelling. Each chapter is its own story, but the book hangs together effortlessly. The main characters, and some of the important minor ones - are richly painted. I want to meet these people and learn from them.There's a crazy controversy about the author's background. It turns out the book is fictional and there's more to it than that. But, read The Education of Little Tree before digging into this. I'm afraid it could ruin an otherwise magical experience for you.Do read this book. It is special and shouldn't be missed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Crissy

    Forrest Carter weaves a story of his young childhood being raised by his Cherokee Grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains during the 1930’s depression era. Carter moves the reader in the spiritual elements of how Little Tree is taught to live with Mother Earth and see the signs that she is rebirthing, he also learns how to plant by the signs of the moon, and listen to the birds call. He also is able to speak to trees and observe Mother Nature’s cycles and all life that she holds. Little Tree a Forrest Carter weaves a story of his young childhood being raised by his Cherokee Grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains during the 1930’s depression era. Carter moves the reader in the spiritual elements of how Little Tree is taught to live with Mother Earth and see the signs that she is rebirthing, he also learns how to plant by the signs of the moon, and listen to the birds call. He also is able to speak to trees and observe Mother Nature’s cycles and all life that she holds. Little Tree also learns the Cherokee lessons in dealing with people with respect. Lessons he learns through the Cherokee ways is that one teaches a person how to do something because if you constantly give to a person that person will depend on you and not able to stand on their own two feet and what happens we have taken away that person’s dignity. Carter shows elements of Mark Twain’s writing style and I can easily see Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer striking up a ‘kinship’with Little Tree. This book was at times humorous, heart wrenching, awe-inspiring, and delightful read that no one should miss. However, being suspicious how a child of one so young could recall profound details and inner wisdom spirituality that I had to Google if this story was legit. Unfortunately, Forrest Carter is really Asa Carter whom was a member of the KKK and wrote for George Wallace and is known for "Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!"With this knowledge I found it difficult to wrap my mind around how such a man who wrote a beautiful story was also a white supremacist racist? Furthermore, I was dishearten to find out the story was also fictional and not non-fictional and found it disturbing that Carter used a culture to exploit his own book and career, that capture a nation with his story that was truly a sham. Then I came to terms with this and realize everyone has good in them. Asa Carter has a gift that came from God, a gift to weave stories that can move a person’s heart. Therefore, though I do not believe in prejudice or discrimination for any reason, creed, race, colour of skin, gender, or sexual preferences, I still will promote this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars! This story was Popping WOW no matter what circumstances it was written under!!! Please Pick up a Copy and read it!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    The affected speech pattern of the narrator made the first 100 pages of Little Tree difficult to read. But it picked up by the end and included many touching moments; sometimes profoundly sad, other times hopeful.I had some doubts about the accuracy of the botanical details and even doubted whether it was autobiographical, suspecting it was a collection of folklore. But I never suspected the truth about this book or its author.The Education of Little Tree presents itself as the autobiography of The affected speech pattern of the narrator made the first 100 pages of Little Tree difficult to read. But it picked up by the end and included many touching moments; sometimes profoundly sad, other times hopeful.I had some doubts about the accuracy of the botanical details and even doubted whether it was autobiographical, suspecting it was a collection of folklore. But I never suspected the truth about this book or its author.The Education of Little Tree presents itself as the autobiography of a half-Cherokee moonshiner boy, mistreated by white "politicians" and clergy. It is actually a work of pure fiction by the former white supremacist, anti-semitic politician, and KKK leader Asa Earl Carter, who allegedly wrote George Wallace's famous line "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Source: Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Educ...Asa "Forrest" Carter is dead now, so proceeds from this book cannot benefit him any more.When I found out who wrote it, I became instantly obsessed with the psychological state of the author. I am not the only one to find it so interesting: it is the subject of the 2011 documentary, "The Reconstruction of Asa Carter" and an even more thought-provoking This American Life episode, "180 Degrees".Though written by a former bigot, this book is an examination of bigotry from the standpoint of the oppressed. I completely sympathized with the plight of the main characters and chafed at their sometimes stoic acceptance of their secondary roles in society. I believe that this is the intended effect. I could see this book serving as a bridge for white supremacists to gain a view from the other side of racial tensions and change their opinions.A similar book that felt like a more accurate/honest account of Native American life, persecution, and spiritual beliefs, is Seven Arrows. I suspect that one is "real," but I just don't know any more.

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