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Publisher's Summary

The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression.

”Little Tree" as his grandparents call him, is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course.

Little Tree also learns the often-callous ways of white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is taken away by whites for schooling, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them and of Little Tree's perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee Way.

A classic of its era, and an enduring audiobook for all ages.

©2008 India Carter, LLC © 1976 by Forrest Carter; Copyright renewed 2004 (P)2014 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Grabs Your Heartstrings

What made the experience of listening to The Education of Little Tree the most enjoyable?

Narrator was perfect. Made me feel that the story was narrated by a naïve young boy. Really personalized the story.

What did you like best about this story?

Drew me into this poignant story. Could not stop listening.

What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

Accent was done extremely well. Made me believe that he identified with this very young orphaned Native American.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried for at least 15 minutes. Was a very good story that drew me right in, and because I felt connected to each of the major character, I personally felt their pain.

Any additional comments?

This story reminded me of the way I felt after watching "Ol' Yeller". I enjoyed the entire story, laughing out loud at times, but crying at the end when reality intrudes.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Johnny Heller impresses!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Even if you have read this classic piece of Americana (whether or not you know its checkered past) you need to hear Johnny Heller read it to you. It is like discovering a lost treasure all over again.

What did you like best about this story?

Having read and taught this book numerous times, it was a rare treat to have Johnny Heller read it to me. His fresh, in the moment, subtle style does not disappoint.

What does Johnny Heller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Johnny Heller has a knack for getting inside the soul of young characters when he narrates a book. It's amazing really. A voice that on first blush seems better suited for Noir brings vivid detail to YA and Classic Children's Literature.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Talking with Grandma about her special place... I was there with them... just beautiful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gorgeous!

What did you love best about The Education of Little Tree?

This is a book for all ages and all time. It is a beautifully lyrical sensitive rendering of the native American experience and a young mans powerful and resilient journey. Johnny Heller gave a knock out narration/performance that is honest, jugular and nuanced.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A Beautiful Culture Through the Eyes of a Child

If you could sum up The Education of Little Tree in three words, what would they be?

Charming, Heartbreaking, Uplifting..

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Education of Little Tree?

The vivid descriptions of a simple life in the mountains and the daily life that Little Tree and his grandparents shared was genuinely touching and thought provoking. I loved the humorous episodes about the politicians and the whiskey runnin' business.. I loved the hound dogs.I especially loved Grandma's explanation of the "mind spirit" and "body spirit". I loved all of the moments with Willow John and Little Tree's grandparents. This book is not tragic or angry. It expresses with dignity and grace a culture "torn apart and scattered" that should never be forgotten.

What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

I cannot imagine anyone better to portray this little boy than Johnny Heller. He told the story in a simple straight forward manner which meshed perfectly with the writing. I really felt as though I was living every moment through the eyes of a 5 year old child who was struggling to make sense of a world he was thrust into. I felt the discovery and genuine love and adoration that Little Tree had for his grandparents, the mountains and a way of life that because of it's simplicity and truth gave him a rich and satisfying life.

Any additional comments?

I listened a second time to several of these chapters because I was so moved by this story.I wish that this were on the reading/listening list in every school in America. There are lessons for ALL to take to heart here!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent story for every American to read!

The narrator of the story colors the story with American Indian accents, which brings life to the characters. Powerfully moving passages about the coming of age of a young person in a rapidly changing world, complete with a removed and misdirected political force which threatens extinction of the very way of life for an entire people, whose culture lives as one with nature and whose religion can be described as spiritually tuned to the frequency of nature. Replete with social, religious, political ideals and challenges of the United States since its inception and even further since white man's first, drastic contrasting contact with the American Native peoples.
A beautiful eloquent story, it's as if Grandpa is re-educating the reader to know The Way.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Enigmatic

This book was written under a pseudonym and eventually exposed as the work of a prominent and vocal segregationist. The book was taken off of Oprah Winfrey's recommended reading list when this came out. However, The book stands alone as a lovely work which seems to be completely free from racial hatred or prejudice of any kind. In fact, the perspective that comes through in this book is compelling, deep, compassionate and beautiful. I think the writer failed at times in his use of a colloquial dialect. But overall, he told A story that has staying power.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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classic

we've listened to it over and over and over again. I highly recommend it for home-schooled children

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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best education

amazing story about a "real life" education. good for all ages. read it

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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love it

Relay loved the orators reading style, helped me visualize the scenes quite nicely, thank you.

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Beautiful

This is a lovingly crafted novel. The story is moving. A good listen that leaves you wishing for a sequel.

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  • danny english
  • 06-07-16

Wisdom of the wilds!

A beautiful story with great threads of wisdom from a sadly forgotten people running throughout the book.

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  • michael
  • 06-02-15

Not for children!

There are a lot of interesting lessons and points in this book. But there is a lot of cussing and the language used is old English-keep the young ones away.