Last night's topic was weeding. It was a fascinating discussion, with participants being asked to respond (if they wanted to) to a series of questions. I learned that the process of weeding ranges from an individual doing it with no guidelines at all to individuals who are responsible for developing lists that are then used at libraries in a particular system. It was enlightening and lighthearted, too.
At one point in the discussion, participants were asked to name a book they'd recently removed from the collection. Among those named was Dances With Wolves: A Story for Children. I gotta say, I was glad to know it was weeded! I also gotta say that I'm not surprised the movie prompted a book for children. Money, you know. MONEY.
I know a lot of people love that movie, but.... Though you see Native people in it all over the place, who is the story about? Its really a love story about a white guy (Costner) and a white woman who lived with the Indians since childhood. Native people are just the backdrop for that romance.
Costner's film is derided enough within Native circles that its part of a joke we tell about the "B.C.'s" Native people have had more than just that one "B.C." We've had three. "Before Christ, Before Columbus, and, Before Costner." When Avatar was released, people added "Before Cameron" to the joke.
When I got up this morning, I saw that my daughter (she's working on a Master's degree at the University of Cambridge in the UK) had posted David Sirota's approropriately titled, Oscar loves a white savior article on my Facebook wall. Sirota's article is terrific. Among the films he critiques are Dances With Wolves and Avatar.
So! Dances With Wolves: A Story for Children. Amazon tells me that James Howe adapted it for Scholastic in 1991. I can get a used copy for a penny... Shall I?