Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky (Hardcover)

Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School

By Timothy P. McLaughlin (Editor), S. D. Nelson (Illustrator), Joseph Marshall, III (Foreword by)

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 9781419701795, 80pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2012

List Price: 21.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This is an exceptional poetry collection written by Lakota students in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The historic school was founded in 1888 at the request of Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota. The poems enable readers to learn about the unique lives and heritage of students growing up in such distinctive circumstances and straddling cultures. The collection was compiled by a teacher at the school, working with school administrators, and contains never-before-published artworks by award-winning artist S. D. Nelson.

Praise for Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky


"This is an important collection that offers opportunities for insight into a culture that has too often been either ignored or misunderstood."

--Booklist, starred review

"A moving, fascinating glimpse across cultures. Vivid, polychromatic illustrations by Nelson accompany the students’ evocative works."

--Kirkus Reviews

"As a collection, the poems present an interesting, eye-opening look at the Lakota culture, which is one that is often overlooked. The paintings by S.D. Nelson are gorgeous and vibrant."

--Library Media Connection


New York Public Library’s Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list

HONORABLE MENTION - 2012 Aesop Accolade, American Folklore Society

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013

About the Author

S. D. Nelson is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas. He is the award-winning author and illustrator of a number of books. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Joseph Marshall III, raised on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) tribe. His internationally acclaimed works include nine nonfiction books, four novels, a collection of short stories and essays, and several screenplays. He divides his time between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.