The year is 1812. A white trapper is murdered. And a young Chippewa Indian stands accused.
Captured and shackled in leg irons and chains, Indian John awaits his trial in a settler's loft. In a world of crude frontier justice where evidence is often overlooked in favor of vengeance, he struggles to make sense of the white man's court. His young lawyer faces the wrath of a settlement hungry to see the Indian hang. And 13-year-old Rebecca Carver, terrified by the captive Indian right in her home, must decide for herself what--and who--is right. At stake is a life. Inspired by a true story, Crooked River takes a probing look at prejudice and early American justice.
Gr 5-8-Pearsall quickly engages readers with her captivating tale of fear, ignorance, and bravery on the Ohio frontier. The year is 1812 and 13-year-old Rebecca Carver is driven hard to help her older sister, Laura, make up for the loss of their mother. Terrified of their abusive and violent-tempered father, the girls care for the family silently and dutifully until a prisoner, an Indian who is accused of murder, is chained in their loft. Although surrounded by a family and town overflowing with an unabashed hatred of Indians, Rebecca slowly begins to believe in Amik's innocence and defies her Pa, her family, and her settlement in order to see justice done. The unique sharing of narration between Rebecca and Amik further opens the mind to the injustices and inhumanity suffered by this country's Native people. Packed with believable characters wrapped in a thoroughly researched plot, Crooked River is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and would aptly serve as a discussion-rich tool for American studies.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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March 12, 2007
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