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My Heart Is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl is a fictional diary written by Ann Rinaldi. It is the thirteenth book in Dear America and Rinaldi's only book for the series. The book was published in April 1999 and was followed by The Great Railroad Race by Kristiana Gregory.


"In memory of my uncle Anthony"

Book description[]

"February 6
Names were carved on the boards that are black....
When my turn came, I asked Mrs. Mary,... "Why must I take a new name? I have a name, Little Rose."
"Your old names are hard to say," she tells it.
"Little Rose is not hard to say."
"They tie you to your savage past."
"My past is not savage," I told her.
"You are Sioux. Your people killed Custer."
My under-where is itching me all this time. I feel silly in my citizens' clothes. I trip on the skirts when I walk. I am angry....
Then Mrs. Camp Bell told me not to be dis-re-spect-ful. And to pick a name. So I did, for Mrs. Camp Bell. So now I am Nannie Little Rose. And now I am here. And I have learned to wear this citizens' clothes and write their words. But I will never forget my past.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of My Heart Is on the Ground characters


Main article: Ann Rinaldi


  • Indian Paintbrush Book Award (2001) - nominated[2]


"I would like to thank the librarians and staff of the Archives Branch of the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle Pennsylvania, for their help and cooperation, as well as the authors of the many factual historical works I used to study the Carlisle Indian School and the Lakota Sioux Indians. Particularly valuable sources were Sister to the Sioux: The Memoirs of Elaine Goodale Eastman; Waterlily by Ella Cara Deloria; and Lakota Belief and Ritual by James R. Walker. Thank you, also to Genevieve Bell, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, for fact-checking the manuscript, and to my editor at Scholastic, Tracy Mack, for her support and understanding."


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from the 1973 painting Indian Girl, Little Star by James Bama. The background is a detail from an 1892 photograph titled Student March by John N. Choate.[3][4][5]
  • My Heart Is on the Ground has received criticism from Native American communities, citing many issues with the book such as appropriation, stereotypes, and historical inaccuracies.[6][7]


See also[]

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]