Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

Book Summary: 

This story is about a young boy and his grandmother’s journey from blindness to being able to see. The young boy learns that there are many different reasons behind how his grandmother became blind. One of those reasons is because someone threw a stone at her. The term “saltypie” came to be when the young boy’s father had tasted the blood that was dripping down his mother’s face after the incident with the stone. The term “saltypie” was then used by everyone in the family to describe troubling situations in which they must face to get through. This term is repeated throughout the book to show how the family continues to use this term. The repetition of the term helps the reader to understand the importance of the term “saltypie” and the significance the term has when it comes to overcoming obstacles and how specifically this American Indian handles these obstacles.

Tin Tingle
Karen Clarkson
Cinco Punto's Press
Guiding Question: 

Does the way in which your family responds to an issue frame the way that you think about everyday obstacles?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- The young boy’s uncle tells him the reason that there was a stone thrown at this Mawmaw. His uncle explains that it was because she was Indian and the neighborhood that she was in was not primarily Indian. Has there ever been a time that you felt like you were not part of a large group and therefore left out?

Empathy- If you have ever felt left out, what do you think it would be like to be on the other side? If you have not ever felt left out, what do you think it would be like to be in the position?

Advocacy- Guiding your students into thinking of a project that allows students to think about times when they have felt left out and also when they have left others out. How can we change ourselves and our friend groups to better include everyone?

Action- As a class, form anti bullying groups and inclusion groups that would bring students together and form new relationships. Decide as a class if you would like to donate to the American Indian College Fund at:


Reviewed by Morgan Schalk, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate