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The Education of Little Tree

The book The Education of Little Tree was made into the movie The Education of Little Tree.

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Book details for The Education of Little Tree

The Education of Little Tree was written by Forrest Carter. The book was published in 1976 by University of New Mexico Press. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

Read More About This Book

This story has entranced readers of all ages since it was first published twenty-five years ago. 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 m... Read More
This story has entranced readers of all ages since it was first published twenty-five years ago. 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 the 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 for schooling by whites, 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 book for all ages, The Education of Little Tree has now been completely re-designed for this twenty-fifth anniversary edition.

Movie details for The Education of Little Tree

The movie was released in 1997 and directed by Richard Friedenberg. The Education of Little Tree was produced by Paramount. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include James Cromwell, Tantoo Cardinal, Joseph Ashton, Mika Boorem, Christopher Heyerdahl, Christopher Fennell, Graham Greene (II), Leni Parker, Rebecca Dewey, Bill Rowat, Robert Daviau, Norris Domingue, Mark Jeffrey Miller, Gordon Masten, Howard Rosenstein (II), Teddy Lee Dillon, James Rae, Alain Goulem, Griffith Brewer and Dawn Ford.

 

Read More About This Movie

In 1935, an 8-year-old orphaned boy is sent to live in the Tennessee mountains with his grandparents. He doesn't yet know that he is half Cherokee, on his grandmother's side. As he learns about life and the Cherokee "way" from his grandparents, Little Tre... Read More
In 1935, an 8-year-old orphaned boy is sent to live in the Tennessee mountains with his grandparents. He doesn't yet know that he is half Cherokee, on his grandmother's side. As he learns about life and the Cherokee "way" from his grandparents, Little Tree's sensitivity to nature and to others grows.

At first it might seem easy to dismiss this movie as hokey, especially when Little Tree's Scottish grandfather teaches him to make whiskey and he befriends a dog. But the film gains emotional power when Little Tree becomes close to an older Cherokee who tells him about the Trail of Tears. When the government places Little Tree in an Indian school, where he is abused physically and psychologically, the tough issue of the forced assimilation of Native Americans isn't glossed over. Excellent performances and a gripping story make this well worth watching with children ages 8 and up.

An interesting side note: Forrest Carter, who wrote the book the movie is based on, was a one-time KKK member and speechwriter for George Wallace. It's hard to imagine how a former white supremacist could write such a moving tale about racism. Despite the controversy surrounding Carter, this sensitive film deserves to be taken on its own terms. --Elisabeth Keating