A critically acclaimed historical novel by the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Homeless Bird.
When shy ten-year-old Lucy comes to live with her aunt and uncle at their mission school, she's surprised at the number of harsh rules and restrictions imposed on the children. Why, she wonders, should the Indians have to do all the changing? And why is her aunt so strict with them?
Then a girl called Raven runs away in protest, and Lucy knows she must overcome her timidity and stand up to her aunt—no matter what the consequences.
With her trademark lyricism, spare prose, and strong young heroine, award-winning author Gloria Whelan has once again taken a chapter from history and transformed it into gripping, accessible historical fiction that is perfect for schools and classrooms, as well as for fans of Linda Sue Park and Louise Erdrich.
With eloquent if predictable precision, the author recreates the tensions of early 19th-century Michigan. When Lucy's parents are killed, her gruff aunt and uncle agree to take her in and have her brought from Detroit to their home in Coldriver. Unsentimentally, they expect her to earn her keep at the mission school they run, where they teach Indian children good Christian doctrine and proper white ways. One girl, however, refuses to adapt and runs away, leaving Lucy to keep a big secret from her domineering aunt. While the climax of this book is frustrating in its patness (a crisis illness draws everyone closer), Whelan (Night of the Full Moon) manages to transport the reader into a believable and complex past, when manifest destiny drove adult actions--and when girls still had time to admire the sunlit autumn forest and notice that "the maples looked as if they had been hung with hundreds of scarlet lanterns." Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-10.
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It's north bad. I did a book report on it for school.