Indian Summer

Indian Summer CoverIndian Summer
Monjo
1968

Submitter: This 50 year old beginning reader book is a woefully one-sided history lesson about Kentucky settlers vs. The Indians. While Pa is off to “lick the British” with the likes of George Washington, Ma is left behind with her rifle to defend her children and their cabin from Indian attack. The story features stereotypical Indian illustrations, and atrocious language such as “redskins” and the children fearing they’ll be “scalped.” This was one of the original items owned in our children’s collection, and it last circulated in 2017, I’m sad to say. When I noticed the faded cover and yellowed pages, then discovered the terribly racist historical fiction within this book, I weeded it quickly. For fun, note the old fashioned “wash your hands” sticker we used to put in the front cover of children’s books at our library. It’s the best and most relevant part of this book!

Holly: Public libraries are not the place for this kind of thing anymore! Pass it on to a museum or archive…or wherever you’re putting your Little House on the Prairie books.

Please wash your hands

Indian Summer page 14

Indian Summer page 22

Indian Summer page 36

Indian Summer page 42

Indian Summer page 56

10 comments

  1. I’m a big fan of your website. However, I don’t think libraries, especially public ones, should be censoring even objectionable materials. Why not compromise by keeping this book in a closed stack?

    1. It really isn’t a censorship issue, its a space and budget issue. Most small to medium public libraries don’t really have a closed stack option. Each library is going to have a different service objective/clientele. Most public libraries are built for the general public and are usually not able to provide any archival preservation. When we say “weeding” or even getting rid of something, it means this material isn’t appropriate for this particular collection. It needs to be in a place where this type of material is collected. In this case, the book is not really appropriate for your average elementary student doing research for a school project. Archives and research libraries are the proper places for these types of specialty materials.This is why that libraries usually cooperate with each other through ILL (Inter Library Loan) so we can get the more esoteric or “objectionable” types of books. Our site is made up of mostly public library items, since Holly and I are in the thick of it.
      When I looked up this title in WorldCat, it is still out there in plenty of libraries, but it is in large public libraries or University collections that can support some specialty collections. However, I also saw this in many small town libraries and I wondered what they are doing with this title still sitting in a regular circulating juvenile collection. Regardless, if you are in New York Public library or the small town library, librarians will absolutely do their best to help anyone get any title.

      Mary

  2. I guess they were too poor to give “Sister” her own name?

    I’d say people need to wash their hands OF this book. There must have been enough copies of this printed that archives have all they need.

    I hope other librarians see this and weed it if it’s still in their library.

    Side note – I wish that “wash your hands” sticker was still in library books. Children’s AND adults.

  3. this is really awful. It concerns me that it even existed in the first place within the 2nd half of 20th century.

  4. Does it have Stereotype Evil British Redcoats too? Funny how the Native Americans fought on the Government side in the War of Independence, isn’t it? And of course the rebel settlers (including George Washington) were as British as the Government soldiers at that time, whatever Paul Revere might have shouted in the poem.

    1. I believe that what he actually shouted was “The Regulars are out!” Meaning the government soldiers. As you point out, he would have thought of himself as British.

  5. Oh gosh, this was one of the few books in my house when I was a kid. I remember the cover quite fondly, and I know I must have read the book many times, but I didn’t remember anything about the inside. In fact, I didn’t even remember that the Indians in the title referred to people and not a season. Now am wondering what might be sitting on my shelves at home!

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