Saltypie

A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light



By: Tim Tingle
Illustrator: Karen Clarkson
In this powerful family saga, Choctaw author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family’s move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, Texas. Spanning fifty years, Saltypie describes the problems encountered by his Choctaw grandmother—from her orphan days at an Indian boarding school to hardships encountered in her new home on the Texas Gulf Coast.
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Description

In this powerful family saga, Choctaw author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family's move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, Texas. Spanning fifty years, Saltypie describes the problems encountered by his Choctaw grandmother —from her orphan days at an Indian boarding school to hardships encountered in her new home on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Tingle says, "Stories of modern Indian families rarely grace the printed page. Long before I began writing, I knew this story must be told." Seen through the innocent eyes of a young boy, Saltypie is the story of one family's efforts to honor the past while struggling to gain a foothold in modern America. More than an Indian story, Saltypie is an American story, of hardships shared and the joy of overcoming.

Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a sought-after storyteller for folklore festivals, library conferences, and schools across America. At the request of Choctaw Chief Pyle, Tim tells a story to the tribe every year before PyleÍs State of the Nation Address at the Choctaw Labor Day Gathering. Tim's previous and often reprinted books from Cinco Puntos Press —Walking the Choctaw Road and Crossing Bok Chitto— received numerous awards nationally, but what makes Tim the proudest is the recognition he receives from the American Indian communities around the country.

Karen Clarkson, a Choctaw tribal member, is a self-taught artist who specializes in portraits of Native Americans. She did not start painting until after her children had left home; she has since been widely acclaimed as a Native American painter. She lives in San Leandro, California.

Awards and Accomodations

WordCraft Circle Children's Literature Award 2012
American Indian Youth Literature Award, Picture Book category, Honor Book
ALSC Notable Children's Book
2011 Storytelling World Resource Award (Adolscent Listeners, honor)
2011 Skipping Stones Honor Award
2011 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, Grades 4-6

10 reviews for Saltypie

  1. Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog
    This book is exceptional. When people ask me for a short list of recommended books, Saltypie is going to be on that list.

  2. Booklist
    Looking back to his childhood, Choctaw storyteller Tingle introduces his capable, comforting Mawmaw (grandmother); recalls his shock as a six-year-old at realizing that she was blind (possibly, he learns, as a result of a racially motivated assault in her own youth); and recounts a hospital vigil years afterward when she received an eye transplant. His strong, measured prose finds able counterpart in Clarkson’s subtly modeled, full-bleed close-ups of eloquently expressive faces and closely gathered members of the author’s large extended family.

    The title comes from a word invented by Tingle’s father as a stand-in for any sort of pain or distress, and its use serves to enhance the vivid sense of intimacy that pervades this reminiscence. A lengthy afterword provides more details about Tingle’s family and Choctaw culture, and offers much to think about regarding American Indian stereotypes.

  3. Publishers Weekly
    [A] quietly poetic story about dealing with adversity.

  4. Kirkus Reviews
    Clarkson’s evocative illustrations bathe each scene in a soft light that accentuates the warmth of the family’s love.

  5. Randomly Reading
    [Saltypie] is complimented by Karen Clarkson’s softly painted illustrations that really capture all the emotions of the family on each page, but especially the last image of Mawmaw, whose eyes are open for the first time since that fateful morning in 1915.

  6. School Library Journal
    The large, full-spread illustrations are vibrant…A lovely piece of family history.

  7. Tucson Citizen
    An American story that underscores the joys of overcoming hardships.

  8. Unshelved
    The author subtly touches on [racism and stereotyping] by gently challenging American ideas of “Indians” with pictures of regular people having regular lives. And the “How Much Can We Tell Them?” section in the back of the book, directed at adults, invites us to see our cultural biases and to teach our children to see and understand the truth of the people around us.

  9. Review of Texas Books
    An unexpected and thought provoking multi-generational story.

  10. El Paso Scene
    Tingle, once again, produces a tale well-told, well-remembered and destined to be well received by readers of all ages. —Lisa Kay Tate

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