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Book Review

Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran by Kenneth Thomasma has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is in the "Amazing Indian Children" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

In a mix of fiction and historical events, Shoshoni Indians Naya Nuki and Sacajawea are 11 years old when they're captured by an enemy tribe. Though Sacajawea feels an escape attempt is too dangerous, Naya Nuki makes careful plans and stealthily gathers supplies for the journey home. After Naya Nuki gains the trust of her captors, she flees. The book gives an account of her harrowing, month-long journey. She faces wild animals, human enemies, debilitating illness and hazardous weather. The tribe rejoices at her return, and she is later reunited with Sacajawea when the famous guide — along with explorers Lewis and Clark — visits the Shoshoni to buy horses.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Naya Nuki and her tribe sought to please the spirits, including The Great Spirit. They performed a special dance prior to the hunt to please the spirits, and they attributed bad weather to the spirits' anger. Naya Nuki wouldn't take items she needed from a burial site for fear of angering the spirits.

Authority Roles

Naya Nuki remembers that her mother always cared for her when she was ill. When Naya Nuki's mother lost one of her children as a baby, she grieved according to Shoshoni custom: She burned the crib, chopped off her own hair and cut her legs with sharp rocks until they bled. Her actions demonstrated to Naya Nuki the great love of a mother for her child.





Discussion Topics

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Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

9 to 12


Kenneth Thomasma






Record Label



Grandview Publishing Co.


On Video

Year Published



Indian Paintbrush Book Award, 1986


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