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BOOK & COMMUNITY EVENT | Winter Coat Drive & Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve on "The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood"


Join South Dakota Historical Society Press author Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve as she talks about her book The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood.


Attendees are encouraged to bring coats to the Cultural Heritage Center as a donation to the local coat drive run by Nourish Body and Soul, an outreach charity group that is part of the First United Methodist Church in Pierre.


“Virginia’s personality shines through in this poignant story that entertains and informs.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With its authentic portrait of a Sioux childhood and Christmas traditions and its eventual happy ending, this is a quiet but affecting picture book.”—Horn Book

“This richly descriptive narrative is well matched by detailed and expressive watercolors.”—School Library Journal

Virginia’s old coat is too small. The cold South Dakota wind blows across the Rosebud Indian Reservation, making her shiver as she walks to school. Virginia dreams of a new coat arriving in the Theast boxes—parcels of clothing from churches in “The East.” But, she knows she may not have a chance for a coat this year. Her father is the village Episcopal priest, so her family chooses last, and as Mama always says, “The others need it more than we do.”

Generosity and unexpected joy remind Virginia of the importance of community within this story from the author’s childhood.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, the daughter of an Episcopal priest and a Lakota Sioux mother, was born and raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. A member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, she has authored several books for young adult readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including Completing the Circle, Standing Bear of the Ponca, The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood, and Jimmy Yellow Hawk. Sneve received her B.S. and M.Ed. from South Dakota State University and taught English throughout the state and at the Flandreau Indian School. The recipient of the Native American Prose Award and the Spirit of Crazy Horse Award, she is the first South Dakotan to receive the National Humanities Medal.