53 pages 1 hour read

Scott O'Dell

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1992

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Teacher Introduction

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains by Scott O’Dell

  • Genre: Historical Fiction; Middle Grade Fiction
  • Originally Published: 1992
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 680L; Ages 8-12 years
  • Structure/Length: Divided into chapters; approximately 192 pages
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Thunder Rolling in the Mountains is a historical novel set in the late 19th century. It follows the journey of a young Nez Perce girl named Sound of Running Feet, who undergoes a personal journey of resilience, courage, and determination as she and her people confront the challenges of displacement, loss, and cultural preservation. The central conflict revolves around the Nez Perce tribe’s struggles as they face forced relocation by the US government. The novel explores themes of identity, heritage, and the impact of historical events on Indigenous communities.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Themes of displacement, historical injustices, and cultural preservation

Scott O’Dell, Author

  • Bio: Born 1898; deceased 1989; American author known for his historical fiction for young readers; celebrated for his ability to weave engaging narratives while incorporating historical accuracy and cultural insights; often explored the experiences of Indigenous peoples and marginalized communities in his works
  • Other Works: Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960); The Black Pearl (1967); Sarah Bishop (1980)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • The Unavoidability of War During Colonization
  • Connection to Home
  • Power of Women and Gender Roles in Indigenous Culture