The Education of Little Tree

Front Cover
UNM Press, 1976 - Fiction - 216 pages
25 Reviews
Forrest Carter, from the age of four or five, was inseparable from his part-Cherokee grandfather, who owned a farm and ran a country store nearby. Granpa called him Little Sprout; when he grew taller, he became Little Tree. From Granpa he absorbed the Cherokee ethic; to give love without expecting gratitude, to take from the land only what you need. Little Tree watches a mountain storm when Nature is birthing Spring, learns bird signs and wind songs and which crops to plant by the dark of the moon. He hears the true story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, and why it is not the Indian who wept, but the watching white man. From a Jewish peddler who came every season to Granpa's store he learns a lesson in charity; from a sharecropper he learns to understand misplaced pride. He escapes death through Granpa's courage and confronts, for the first time, the hypocrisy and brutality of white Americans.

Much of the lore passed from generation to generation by word of mouth is found in these stories in "The Education of Little Tree," autobiographical if not all factually accurate. For instance, Granma is based on family memories of Carter's great-great-great grandmother (Granpa's great-grandmother), who was a full Cherokee, combined with the author's own mother, who read Shakespeare to him when he was a child. But Granpa is all and forever true in this storyteller's memoir of a time that ended when Little Tree was ten and Granpa died.

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User Review  - ChrisWeir - LibraryThing

What a charming little book. It's the story of a Cherokee boy who loses his parents when he is five. He goes to live with his grandparents up in the mountains. Although the language is a bit archaic ... Read full review

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User Review  - nancynova - LibraryThing

rabck from Erishkigal; considering this book was written under a pen name by a racist Southerner who likely never set foot in Tennessee, it was quite good. Using a young boys backwoods dialect, it ... Read full review

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About the author (1976)

Forrest Carter is best known for his autobiographical work, The Education of Little Tree (1976). Carter was orphaned at the age of ten and raised by his grandfather. In the Education of Little Tree, he wrote of his happy childhood in the isolated woods of the Tennesee Hill Country and lovingly recalls his grandfather who gave him a unique education based heavily on his Cherokee heritage. Carter once estimated that he never spent more than six months in a formal educational setting. Other notable works by Forrest Carter are The Rebel Outlaw, Josey Wales (1973), and Cry Geronimo (1980). The Rebel Outlaw, Josey Wales was purchased by Clint Eastwood, who produced and starred in the movie adaptation of the work in 1976.

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