I Am Osage: How Clarence Tinker Became the First Native American Major General

HarperCollins/Heartdrum. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063081161.
PreS-Gr 3–The incredible life story of Clarence Tinker, the first Native American Major General in the United States. Rogers explores Tinker’s painful childhood in residential schools, his commitment to education despite obstacles, and his resilience in military roles. Starting off in military academy, Tinker moved through the ranks. His acts of bravery earned him respect in his unit, which made his overall arc one of the power of resilience, honor, and duty. Tinker’s life unfolds and is not separate from the struggles of Indigenous people in North America, as colonial entities unlawfully or immorally controlled and restricted their freedom to pursue dreams. Von Martin’s illustration glow with the radiance of oil paintings, drawing the eye to key moments in Tinker’s life and highlighting aspects of Osage culture.
VERDICT An excellent addition to nonfiction collections for young readers.

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