- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureWithin Ohio's history lies a harrowing account of two young boys who miraculously survived—on their own—in a partially-built wilderness cabin for eight months, from the fall of 1803 until spring of 1804. Very little is known about them except their names and ages. Leeuwen, researching early settlers of Ohio, came across their story, changed their names and fleshed out a compelling book about courage, making-do, hope and growth. Daniel, 11, and Will, 9, accompany their father to a home site deep in an old-growth forest. They fell trees and build a rudimentary log cabin. Then Pa must go back east to fetch Ma and younger siblings. He leaves them with a sack of corn meal, a few blankets, bucket, cooking pot, axe and their knives, admonishing them never to let the fire go out and to look for his return in five to six weeks. But Pa does not return and the boys must face the coming winter with no warm clothing or shoes and whatever provisions they can gather or trap, not allowing themselves to ask, "What if they never do come?" This is a top notch story by a fine writer. I was especially moved by their one friend, Solomon, a Native American who teaches them survival skills, knowing that the time for his people is passing. Daniel's sharp regret at having to fell "granddaddy trees" is a bittersweet reminder to any young reader that with "progress" comes loss. This book is a compelling history lesson and a smart addition to any private, public or school library. 2004, Dial Books for Young Readers, Ages 12 to 15.