In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man.
But outside the woods, the world is changing. English settlers are landing on the shores of the New World, and tensions between native tribes and the invaders are rising.
Little Hawk’s fate becomes irreversibly entwined with that of John, a young English boy who dares to question intolerance. He is witness to a secret murder – will he now be witness to bloodshed between nations?
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2014
In this well-researched and elegant historical fantasy, a Wampanoag boy named Little Hawk survives the loss of his village to a plague contracted from the Pilgrims, who have recently founded Plymouth. Later he befriends a white boy, John Wakeley, only to have a shocking act of violence irrevocably alter their lives. As the years pass, John grows to manhood, learns a trade, marries, and avoids the Pilgrims' bigotry, drawn to the more tolerant principles of Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Providence. Despite its occasional violence, much of veteran fantasist Cooper's story is understated, devoted to what is essentially philosophical discussion and a vivid depiction of the Massachusetts wilderness. Although the tale unfolds almost entirely in English, Cooper impressively conveys the barriers, both cultural and linguistic, that divided natives and settlers, sometimes with horrifying results. Both Little Hawk and John maintain their essential decency in the face of the world's injustice, while Cooper demonstrates, as Little Hawk says, "Change is made by the voice of one person at a time." Ages 10 14.
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Amazing it blew me away!