Calico Captive

Calico Captive

4.7 26
by Elizabeth George Speare, Witold T. Mars
     
 

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In the year 1754, the stillness of Charlestown, New Hampshire, is shattered by the terrifying cries of an Indian raid. Young Miriam Willard, on a day that had promised new happiness, finds herself instead a captive on a forest trail, caught up in the ebb and flow of the French and Indian War.

It is a harrowing march north. Miriam can only force herself to the next

Overview

In the year 1754, the stillness of Charlestown, New Hampshire, is shattered by the terrifying cries of an Indian raid. Young Miriam Willard, on a day that had promised new happiness, finds herself instead a captive on a forest trail, caught up in the ebb and flow of the French and Indian War.

It is a harrowing march north. Miriam can only force herself to the next stopping place, the next small portion of food, the next icy stream to be crossed. At the end of the trail waits a life of hard work and, perhaps, even a life of slavery. Mingled with her thoughts of Phineas Whitney, her sweetheart on his way to Harvard, is the crying of her sister's baby, Captive, born on the trail.

Miriam and her companions finally reach Montreal, a city of shifting loyalties filled with the intrigue of war, and here, by a sudden twist of fortune, Miriam meets the prominent Du Quesne family, who introduce her to a life she has never imagined. Based on an actual narrative diary published in 1807, Calico Captive skillfully reenacts an absorbing facet of history.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
Superior historical fiction.
Children's Literature
On the brink of the French and Indian War in 1754, Miriam Willard is captured along with her sister Susanna Johnson and her family by an Indian tribe in a raid on Charlestown, New Hampshire. The family is taken to an Indian camp where Miriam is pursued by an Indian boy, Mehkoa, whom she despises. Miriam and part of the family are then sold in Montreal to the French. Miriam becomes a servant to the DuQuesne family and quickly endears herself to the self-centered, socialite daughter, Felicité. The memory of loving Phineas Whitney, a beau met on the eve of the kidnapping when she wore her new calico dress, helps Miriam throughout her trials. Miriam's adventures with her one true friend, Hortense, a fellow servant, take her into the dangerous streets of Montreal, providing a page-turning adventure in each chapter. When Miriam and her sister are ejected into the streets by the DuQuesnes, she turns for help to Pierre Laroche, Felicité's heartthrob. Laroche has taken a fancy to Miriam and proposes marriage. The harsh dilemmas faced by the family are ultimately resolved by Miriam, who gains the family's freedom when her dressmaking skills lead her to the Governor's wife. An Epilogue tells of the family's safe return and Miriam's marriage to Phineas. The spirited, fictionalized story is based on an actual account of the journey written by Susanna Johnson at nearly seventy years old. While the language is a bit formal for today's readers, the vivid characterizations and events make for compelling reading, especially for girls seeking strong heroines and a taste of first romance. Filled with fascinating portrayals of life in Indian captivity, French life in Montreal in 1754, and thedangers of life for English pioneers, here is an ageless treasure. The author is a Newbery Medal winner for The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Bronze Bow. 2001 (orig. 1957), Houghton Mifflin, $6.95. Ages 10 to 15. Reviewer: Elaine Wick
From the Publisher

"Vital and vivid, this short novel based on the actual captivity of a pre-Revolutionary girl of Charlestown, New Hampshire, presents American history with force and verve." Kirkus Reviews

"Superior historical fiction." Horn Book

"Convincing historical romance set during the French and Indian War." Booklist, ALA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395071120
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/28/1957
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.44(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author


"I was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1908. I have lived all my life in New England, and though I love to travel I can't imagine ever calling any other place on earth home. Since I can't remember a time when I didn't intend to write, it is hard to explain why I took so long getting around to it in earnest. But the years seemed to go by very quickly. In 1936 I married Alden Speare and came to Connecticut. Not till both children were in junior high did I find time at last to sit down quietly with a pencil and paper. I turned naturally to the things which had filled my days and thoughts and began to write magazine articles about family living. Then one day I stumbled on a true story from New England history with a character who seemed to me an ideal heroine. Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby." Elizabeth George Speare (1908-1994) won the 1959 Newbery Medal for THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, and the 1962 Newbery Medal for THE BRONZE BOW. She also received a Newbery Honor Award in 1983, and in 1989 she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and enduring contribution to children’s literature.

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Calico Captive 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The moment I started reading this book I fell in love with it! There were some parts that I felt a little tiering, but they soon ended. I have recomended this book to a few of my school buddies, who are big readers, and they also loved it! As soon as I got my nook I looked up Calico Captive. It may be a little bit boring for some people, but probily not though. I like books about colonial days and sometimes captive books like this. I could write I whole paper on this book if I wanted to! :0) when I was reading this book, I felt like I was in side the book, and felt like was on the trail with them. Sometimes I felt the emotion they were having. This is a great book about what happened during the French and Indian War, but is fun to read at the same time. I would highly suggest this book for ten to fifteen years old like me. Get this book!!!!!! :0)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth George Spear writes great books. On of my favorites is Witch Of Blackbird Pond. She has writen many books and I plan to read all her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book.If you like this book I would suggust reading The Bronze Bow, The Sign of the Beaver, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond also written by Elizabeth George Sphere.
Cheyenne Massetti More than 1 year ago
I am reading this book in class and LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (500000000 times more stars and exclamation points)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book, and I hated to see it end. I only wish there was a sequel to this book!!!!! Highly recommended!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid sixteen year old reader of historical fictions, I grabbed a very aged looking book from the library shelf since it was from my favorite author, yet I had never heard of it. Once I started to read it, I was enveloped in this beautifully written story about a girl who isn't sure what road she wants her life to follow. This book is absolutely fantastic, once I started reading, I realy couldn't stop. I finished it in a few hours, and read it over agian. It really is one of my favorite books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book since the fifth grade and have been unable to find it until now. I am now a senior in high school and have recently reread this book. It was even better than I remembered.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this as a young adult and have never forgotten it. Just found it on audio and can't wait to listen to it and re-live the adventure. A great book for a pre teen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Calico Captive is terrific! it has a very exciting plot and the writing is wonderful. also a great historical fiction on the french and indian war!! an outstanding and exciting novel.... this is a must read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Calico Captive is about a girl named Miriam Willard, her sister Suesanna and her family being captured by the Indains in New Hamshire. They have to walk miles and miles across a wild and vast country only to have their family torn apart through the crossfire of the French and Indain War and sold to the French as prisoners of war in Montreal. Miriam is confussed and scard when her older sister is left behind in the indain villiage. Miraim knows that she has to play a completly different role now, but she dosn't know if she can. In motreal she is sent to work for Madame Du Quesnes there she befriends Madames daughter Felicite and another servant named Hortense. After living there for a few months Susanna comes back from the indain villiage to stay with Miraim. She no longer is a servant but a guest in Madames house until James Suesannas' husband gets back with their ransom money from the govener of New Hampshire. She loves liveing Montreal and is good friends with Felicite until she envites Miraim to a party and Pierre Felicites' boyfriend dances with Miraim the entire time, Madame gets angry and kicks Suesanna and Miraim out of the house and on the streets on Montreal with nowhere to go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wonderfully wrote book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this with my family and at first i did not like the ending but i now relize that was what acually happened. I LOVE THE AUTOR OF THIS BOOK and i highly recomend The Bronze Bow and The witch of blackbeard pond and i have not yet read the sign of the beaver HER BOOKS ARE MUST READS!!!!!!!!!!!
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IT'S COOL
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this in my school libray, read it once and I was hooked. Though its probably a classic, its not shakespeare, you can actually read this and enjoy it. I loved how Miram transformed throughout the story and i recommend this book to anyone who are considering to read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful is just 1 word from many great words I would use to describe this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 5th grade and for a while I have been trying to find it again, so I can enjoy it once more.It was so exciting when I was younger I can't wait to read it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book. I have read other history books and found them somewhat boring but this book was wonderful! I would definitely recommend it.