"Sing Down the Moon" tells the story of Bright Morning, a Navajo girl who is torn from her home in the Canyon de Chelly and forced to go on the "Long Walk," in which Navajo were forced to march over 200 miles to a prison camp. The 1970 Newbery Award-nominated novel was written by Scott O'Dell, best known for his 1961 Newbery Award-winning novel "Island of the Blue Dolphins."Continue Reading
As "Sing Down the Moon" begins, Bright Morning is 14 years old and lives with her family and other Navajo families in the Canyon de Chelly in the 1860s. She and a friend are kidnapped by Spanish slavers while caring for their sheep, and the girls are sold as slaves. Bright Morning manages to flee with a Nez Perc? girl, Nehana. They join up with Tall Boy, with whom Bright Morning is in love, and make it home to the Canyon de Chelly. However, during a fight with some Spaniards, Tall Boy is badly wounded.
Back in the canyon, things seem normal until some American soldiers show up. The soldiers first make the Navajo leave the canyon, and then force them on a 200-mile march that became known historically as the "Long Walk of the Navajo." During this forced deportation, Bright Morning's tribe is joined by many other Navajo, all being deported from their homelands. The march is strenuous and kills many people.
When the march ends at the Bosque Redondo internment camp, Bright Morning marries Tall Boy and becomes pregnant. Tall Boy becomes despondent after being jailed for getting into a fight. Bright Morning, however, longs to have her baby at home. She helps Tall Boy escape from prison and persuades him to begin the long walk back to Canyon de Chelly, their home.Learn more about Children's Books