Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light
by Tim Tingle
Mick and Jade
Tingle, Tim.  (2010) Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light.  Illustrated by Karen Clarkson. Cinco Puntos Press.

For more information about this book and curriculum connections, locate the October 2010 issue of Library Sparks for the "In the Spotlight" column featuring  Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light.  Column written by Sharron L. McElmeel.

The Tingle family used  the term "Saltypie" to refer to any adversity that they faced in life.  The phrase originated when Tim's father, as a two-year-old mistook the blood running down his mother's face for cherry pie filling.  When his small fingers brushed the liquid, he licked his fingers and realized it was not his favorite cherry pie but something unpleasant to his taste.  He called it "saltypie" and so saltypie pie became the phrase used to describe the many adversities the family faced from many sources including the racism the family endured.
I was curious as to what other cultures and families used to describe the situations that the Tingle family referred to as "saltypie."  An informal survey revealed some interesting idioms.

"spanner in the works"   (note: spanner is a wrench)
Midwest USA
"wrench in the works"

"bump in the road"

"rough patch"
"burr in the saddle"

"drawing a black bean" -- based on a legend from the Mexican - Texas war for independence.  Read all  about it from the Texas Handbook Online - Black Bean Episode page (Texas State Historical Association).
Middle Tennessee
"throw a clod in the churn"
Literary/Biblical reference from The Red Tent by Anita Diamante
"standing upon the bricks"
Interview adults that you know and see what idioms they use to express an adversity in their lives.  Do they use any of the terms above? Where did the idiom originate?  Make a list and compare your list with those gathered by classmates.  If you have more idioms that should be listed here please send them to  McBookwords .
More About Native American Indians in OUR Culture

For more information about Native Americans in Children's and Young Adult Literature visit Cynthia Leitich Smith's Native Themes page on her site at
American Indians in Children's Literature
Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature -- Top Ten books...
For the Elementary School

For the Middle School

For the High School

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