E-Mail: peterlourie@gmavt.net

Everglades
Buffallo Tiger and the River of Grass

By Peter Lourie

 

The Florida Everglades is a huge river of razor-sharp sawgrass that flows one hundred miles from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico. With its stark beauty and abundance of birds andother wildlife, the Everglades is one of the world's ecological treasures. Buth this bright spot on the planet faces an uncertain future. Peter Lourie takes readers into what the Miccosukee Indians call Pa-hay-okee, or the "Grassy Water." His guide is Buffalo Tiger, former chief of the Miccosukees, who provides the unique perspective of a Native American whose people are historically linked to the Everglades.


Awards:
  • INTERNATIONAL ECO AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - 1996
  • NCSS-CBC NOTABLE SOCIAL STUDIES TRADE BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE - 1995
  • JOHN BURROUGHS OUTSTANDING NATURE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS - 1994

Reviews:

"Lourie has a speciality-good books about great rivers. Ha now adds the Everglades, the 'River of Grass,' to his list... his overall mixture of natural and social history is excellent" - starred review, Booklist

 


      "Lourie has a specialty--good books about great rivers (the Amazon, the Hudson, and the Yukon). He now adds the Everglades, the "River of Grass," to the list, bringing readers up close through the story of one Miccosukee Indian, Buffalo Tiger, who works as a guide to the area. But Lourie has Buffalo Tiger doing more than simply pointing out sites. A former Miccosukee chief, Buffalo Tiger also provides insight into what the Everglades has meant to his people. This focus on human history is especially apt given the real estate development of south Florida that has so affected the region. Lourie spends perhaps too much time trying to recapture the history of the area (he even stays overnight alone on Tear Island, where Buffalo Tiger grew up), but his overall mixture of natural and social history is excellent. The book will be a fine prelude to trips to Florida and a great reminder that not everything in the vicinity has been arranged by Disney."

Booklist , December 1, 1994 (Starred Review)
Mary Harris Veeder



      "In his fourth river book, Lourie tours the "slow-moving swamp that is in fact a huge, silent river" covering a vast area of southern Florida. Written in the first person, this account tells of his encounter with some of the unique people and threatened nature of the Everglades. He is accompanied by Buffalo Tiger, a Miccosukee Indian and former chief of his tribe, who now guides visitors through the labyrinthine expanse of sawgrass. In addition, the man also serves as an interpreter of the spirit and native heritage of the beautiful region. And that, in essence, is the heart of this compelling book: Buffalo Tiger introduces Lourie to the old ways, based upon his tribal beliefs, originating with the god Breathmaker, that have gradually vanished over time. Simultaneously, he demonstrates a modern awareness of the area's environmental decline. This title reads more like a story than exposition as the two men explore some of Buffalo's cherished spots on an airboat. Finally, the author spends a night alone camping on a hammock (island) in the middle of the glades. It is a terrifying, mystical, and enlightening experience, all of which is captured vividly in his description of the creature-filled night. This is an engrossing and moving narrative, clearly presented and liberally supported with full-color photographs. '

School Library Journal , October 1994
Valerie Lennox, Jacksonville Public Library, FL