The Story of the Milky Way


Title: The Story of The Milky Way Author: Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross Illustrator: Virginia A. Stroud
Publisher: New York; Dial Books for Young Readers

Genre: Traditional Literature Level: Beginner Number of pages: 29 Pub. Date: 1995


The people in the old time lived off of cornmeal. One day an old woman went out to her cornmeal basket and saw that the lid was off and lots of cornmeal missing. The old woman’s grandson decided to catch the culprit and hid in the bushes till nightfall. That night he sees a spirit dog take the cornmeal. The next night the people all work together to scare away the dog, as he is running he drops corn meal which make the Milky Way in the sky.


This story is a myth explaining the scientific phenomenon of the stars and the Milky Way. While the main character is a young boy, the cause of the Milky Way is a spirit. This story was passed down through the Cherokee people before it was written down in this book so it a perfect example of traditional literature.


I think it’s interesting that so many of the myths we hear now come from the Native Americans. I enjoy their stories and they help to make us realize what life would be like with out science. But this book illustrates the people very white and takes away some of the culture from the story. I think that the words would be better read aloud or with different pictures that better represented the native people.


After: Students will research other myths to the Milky Way from different cultures.


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