Lee & Low Books is thrilled to share that we will be bringing back to print The People Shall Continue, Simon J. Ortiz’s beloved children’s book tracing the history of Native and Indigenous people in North America. The book will be released in paperback in October 2017 in a new 40th Anniversary Special Edition, with updated illustrations and a new afterword by the author. It will also be available in a Spanish translation, simultaneously published.
Told in the rhythms of traditional oral narrative, this powerful telling of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America recounts their story from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands. As more and more people arrived, The People saw that the new men did not respect the land. The People witnessed the destruction of their Nations and the enslavement of their people. The People fought hard, but eventually agreed to stop fighting and signed treaties.
Many things changed and became more difficult, but The People continued to farm and create crafts. They remembered and told their children, “You are Shawnee. You are Lakota. You are Pima. You Acoma. . . . You are all these Nations of the People.” The People held onto their beliefs and customs and found solidarity with other oppressed people. And despite struggles against greed, destruction of their lands, and oppression, The People persisted.
As relevant today as when it was originally published, The People Shall Continue offers a crucial—and often ignored—perspective on North American History. For those looking for an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving narrative we often get stuck in, The People Shall Continue is essential reading and should be in every school, library, and home collection.
Recently, the blog “Reading While White” featured the book The People Shall Continue in its “Bring It Back!” series on great out-of-print books. Librarian Allie Jane Bruce wrote, “I can see a multitude of uses for this book in classrooms, as well as within families and communities. An English teacher could dig into the language that somehow reaches the pinnacle both of melodic poetry and accessible storytelling. A history teacher could use it as a framework for an entire curriculum or unit.”
We’re so thrilled to be making this groundbreaking book available again! Here is what early reviewers are saying:
“The times call on all of us to share The People Shall Continue. Ortiz reminds us that we must come together to save our planet.”
— Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), PhD and publisher, American Indians in Children’s Literature
“A healing introduction, respectful reflection, profound and poetic celebration of the drumbeat, the heartbeat of Native Nations–past, present and future.”
— Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee), New York Times bestselling author
“Simon Ortiz has long been regarded as a major poetic voice, not just in Native American writing, but in world literature as a whole. He brings that voice to bear, along with a deep understanding of the beauty and endurance of Native American cultures, in this sensitively illustrated picture book. It’s a title that should be in every grade school library.“
— Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), award-winning author of more than 100 books for young readers
Look out for The People Shall Continue this fall, in time for Native American Heritage Month!