Medicine Man

Author: Price, Joan

Subjects: Family Relationships; Native Americans; Growing Up

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 7, 8, 9

Order code: 0696

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 0696S

Medicine Man Cover

Kee Chee Begay is in conflict about his identity. His grandfather, Man Who Sings, is an important medicine man for the Navajo people, and he expects fourteen-year-old Kee Chee to take lessons from him and follow in his footsteps. Kee Chee is reluctant to tell his grandfather that he neither shares the same dream nor feels the spirit within himself during the ceremonies.

When Kee Chee’s old working sheepdog Tojo is run down by a hit-and-run driver, Man Who Sings orders Kee Chee to put the dog down; a Navajo sheepdog that cannot work is worthless. Kee Chee defies his grandfather’s order and takes the animal to a white doctor. This adds another layer of personal strain to the grandson-grandfather relationship.

To pay for the dog’s operation and care, Kee Chee translates for young Dr. Hart. He becomes the bridge between the good doctor and his Navajo patients; he not only translates the language, but he also explains the doctor’s behavior to his Navajo patients and explaining the Navajo traditions to Dr. Hart. In the process, Kee Chee learns to respect the white doctor and his medicine.

Kee Chee’s relationship with Man Who Sings grows and changes as he gains perspective about life from Dr. Hart and from his cousin Gray Horse. Gray Horse has chosen a path different from that prescribed by his family; he is going to become a teacher, and he has already won a scholarship to Northern Arizona University.

Ultimately Kee Chee speaks to his grandfather and tells him that he wants to go to college to become a trained translator for his people. Grandfather acknowledges that he must have misinterpreted his dream of his grandchild taking his place. Obviously, the grandchild of the dream was Yazzie, Kee Chee’s young sister, who delights in the ceremonial activities and chants. There is humor in the exchanges between Man Who Sings and Dr. Hart as the two work toward a common ground—it was an herbal drink that finally helped Hart to shake his sinus headache after all of his modern pills didn’t work.

The tragedy of Kee Chee’s father’s death brings to Kee Chee a deeper understanding of the man, along with the guilt and sadness he feels for their relationship gone cold. His father threw away traditional Navajo values in favor of gambling. Kee Chee has learned from his father’s mistakes. Medicine Man is a novel about relationships and a teenage boy’s dealing with growing up.

Kee Chee Begay is in conflict about his identity. His grandfather, Man Who Sings, is an important medicine man for the Navajo people, and he expects fourteen-year-old Kee Chee to take lessons from him and follow in his footsteps. Kee Chee is reluctant to tell his grandfather that he neither shares the same dream nor feels the spirit within himself during the ceremonies.

When Kee Chee’s old working sheepdog Tojo is run down by a hit-and-run driver, Man Who Sings orders Kee Chee to put the dog down; a Navajo sheepdog that cannot work is worthless. Kee Chee defies his grandfather’s order and takes the animal to a white doctor. This adds another layer of personal strain to the grandson-grandfather relationship.

To pay for the dog’s operation and care, Kee Chee translates for young Dr. Hart. He becomes the bridge between the good doctor and his Navajo patients; he not only translates the language, but he also explains the doctor’s behavior to his Navajo patients and explaining the Navajo traditions to Dr. Hart. In the process, Kee Chee learns to respect the white doctor and his medicine.

Kee Chee’s relationship with Man Who Sings grows and changes as he gains perspective about life from Dr. Hart and from his cousin Gray Horse. Gray Horse has chosen a path different from that prescribed by his family; he is going to become a teacher, and he has already won a scholarship to Northern Arizona University.

Ultimately Kee Chee speaks to his grandfather and tells him that he wants to go to college to become a trained translator for his people. Grandfather acknowledges that he must have misinterpreted his dream of his grandchild taking his place. Obviously, the grandchild of the dream was Yazzie, Kee Chee’s young sister, who delights in the ceremonial activities and chants. There is humor in the exchanges between Man Who Sings and Dr. Hart as the two work toward a common ground—it was an herbal drink that finally helped Hart to shake his sinus headache after all of his modern pills didn’t work.

The tragedy of Kee Chee’s father’s death brings to Kee Chee a deeper understanding of the man, along with the guilt and sadness he feels for their relationship gone cold. His father threw away traditional Navajo values in favor of gambling. Kee Chee has learned from his father’s mistakes. Medicine Man is a novel about relationships and a teenage boy’s dealing with growing up.

Medicine Man Cover

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