Great Plains Book of the Month

Each month the Center for Great Plains Studies features one book as its "Great Plains Book of the Month." We carefully choose books that are accessible and on topics of interest and importance for our region. They may be on any subject, of any genre, published within the last couple of years; occasionally we may feature a book published by or written at the Center. Mainly we want to bring attention to what we consider exceptional works both to learn from and enjoy.


August Book of the Month

The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland

By Walter R. Echo-Hawk

Details: American Indians, History, Pawnee

Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing, 2018 

This novel is inspired by and tells the story of ten generations of the remarkable Echo-Hawk family, and in so doing the author provides a Pawnee perspective on the whole history of his people and the region The author makes wonderful use of his family’s oral tradition to bring to life the spiritual side of Native life, give voice to the rich culture and cosmology of the Pawnee Nation, experience the times of tragedy and sadness, and exhilarate in the survival, joys, and achievements of the Pawnee. This book does for American Indians what Alex Haley’s Roots did for African Americans. Walter Echo-Hawk is the author of In The Light Of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2013); and In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (2010).

“…a powerful evocation of the Native American Plains culture … written with notable perception, humility, and imagination. It tells the intricate and arresting story of a unique landscape, a people of profound resilience and pride, and a heritage that is rich and deeply human.”

— N. Scott Momaday (Pulitzer-Prize winning author of House Made of Dawn)

Seas of Grass book of the month

Past Great Plains Books of the Month:

American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, Dan Flores

A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World, Paul Johnsgard

Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, Karen Hansen

Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret, David Jachowski

A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor, Joe Starita

Natives of a Dry Place: Stories of Dakota Before the Oil Boom, Richard Edwards

Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot

Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage

Barnstorming the Prairie, Jason Weems

Homesteading the PlainsRichard Edwards, Rebecca Wingo, Jacob Friefeld

Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology 1867-2017, Edited by Daniel Simon

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm, Ted Genoways

Grasses of the Great Plains, By James Stubbendieck, Stephan L. Hatch, Cheryl D. Dunn

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Ann Weisgarber

The Trans-Mississippi and International Expositions of 1898–1899: Art, Anthropology, and Popular Culture at the Fin de Siècle by Wendy Katz

Jewels of the Plains: Wildflowers of the Great Plains Grasslands and Hills by Claude Barr and James Locklear

Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America's Grasslands Since 1945 by David Vail

Converting the Rosebud: Catholic Mission and the Lakota, 1886-1916 by Harvey Markowitz