HISTORY

The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America

Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Nov. 2019. 208p. ISBN 9781250173645. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250173652. HIST
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While serving North Dakota in Congress in 1990, Dorgan (Take This Job and Ship It) encountered an article in the Bismarck Tribune about a Native American girl named Tamara who experienced abuse while in foster care. He was profoundly moved, especially by the accompanying photograph showing Tamara with a single tear running down her face. Angered by the account, Dorgan traveled to the Standing Rock Reservation where he met Tamara and her grandfather. During the visit, he learned about the dire condition of the reservation’s child welfare system from tribal elders. He remained in touch with Tamara until her grandfather died. Remarkably, they reestablished contact nearly three decades later when he received a message from her online. Dorgan would learn the rest of Tamara’s story, including her struggles with homelessness and PTSD as an adult. In recounting her story, Dorgan also explores the conditions faced by Native children throughout the United States, including poverty, hunger, crime, and abuse. Dorgan depicts several young Native leaders who are intent on making change and provides resources and organizations for those who wish to help.
VERDICT A passionate, heartfelt account that will heighten our awareness of an important issue.

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