Sky Dancers

By Library Media Connection

Back in the 1930s, Mohawk steelworkers from upstate New York reservations helped to build many of the landmark buildings and bridges in New York City. In this fictional story, John is a young Mohawk boy whose papa is a steelworker in the city. John has a chance to visit the city construction site and see his father at work high above the busy city streets - “dancing” across the sky. This interesting book highlights an important contribution of the Native American community to the history of our country. The author has done extensive research on this Mohawk tradition of steel working. The note at the end of the book gives further factual information on the Mohawks’ steel-working feats, including the fact that after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, some decendents of the original workers came into the city to help with the rescue, recovery, and cleanup operations at ground zero. Bold gouache paintings in an autumn palette show a variety of perspectives: from the heights of the skyscrapers, to the train running along the river on the way into the city, and from the backyard tree that John climbs at home to practice for his longed-for career as a skydancer. The artwork effectively complements the story.