Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book of the Week: The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr

Tom Brown Jr grew up learning everything that he could from the teachings of an elder native American. He has written many books and each focuses on a different area of native American life. The Tracker is a collection of stories from Tom's childhood through adulthood. You will find details of how to track and stalk animals, insight into native American beliefs, the challenges of a young man dealing with a changing world,  great philosophical argument of how people should be taught and riveting adventure stories. This book has affected my teaching more than any other source that i can think of. It is also a great read for being here in Dhaka where it is challenging to get out in nature.

I don't know if I could pick a favorite of Tom Brown's books as I like them all for different reasons. Tracking has always fascinated me so this was a natural choice for the first of his books to be featured here. Makes me want to get in the woods and observe. I am also motivated to get my kids into the outdoors as much as possible; giving them an appreciation of the outdoors and confidence in their abilities to flourish in survival situations.

Some of the principles of tracking presented in this book were used in the movie The Hunted. Tom Brown Jr was consulted to make the movie realistic. In interviews about the movie Tom says that there are some really good aspects to the movie but at the same time it is Hollywood and they took some liberties. He sights the knife fight scene as an example saying, "Any one of those wounds would have been fatal..." It was an entertaining movie and a good glimpse of how to track.

You may also have remembered Tom Brown Jr's name from my bucket list. He also has a tracker school where you can go and learn the principle from the book. I would like to attend, and now I am thinking that going with my kids would be amazing.

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