The Story of a Navajo Boy
"It was in the year of 1945 on a cold morning, the third day, in the month of March. A little boy was born as the wind blew against the hogan with bitter colds and the stars were disappearing into the heaven." So begins the story of Broneco, a Navajo boy who tells of his search for a miracle. Through that telling we learn a new perspective on language and life. In Miracle Hill, Blackhorse Mitchell presents the unforgettable account of a boy’s struggle to learn—which would be for him a miracle—in the face of handicaps most people would call insurmountable. Under the guidance of a teacher determined to help him pursue that miracle, he records his life from birth to the dawn of manhood: herding family sheep, living at a boarding school, encountering whites for the first time, journeying home, and finally enrolling in the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where his talent was encouraged. Miracle Hill is written in a distinctively personal style, without strict adherence to orthodox grammar that would have robbed Mitchell of his true voice. Filled with unforgettable characters and brimming with insights into Navajo ways and family relationships, it is a book that crosses cultural barriers and speaks to the miracle-seeker in us all.
"This remarkable book, written by a Navajo schoolboy, is a lyrical, beautiful work which affords a rare insight into the heart and soul of the American Indian." Los Angeles Times"It is the tale, graphically if uniquely written, of a young Navajo growing up astride two cultures, and it is wonderful to watch how he grows mentally, retaining his deep love of nature, his strong family ties, and the best of his Indian background. . . . Written in any other way, [it] would have been facts without feeling." Monterey Peninsula Herald"An engaging book, erratic, fresh and at times poetic." N. Scott Momaday, New York Times Book Review