Calico Captive

( 26 )

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 ...

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Calico Captive

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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.

Based on an actual narrative diary, written by a New Hampshire girl captured in an Indian raid during the French and Indian war and taken to live in Montreal.

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618150762
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/29/2001
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 146,494
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    My favorite book ever!!!!!

    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)

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    CA Calico Captive

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Reading...

    I am reading this book in class and LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (500000000 times more stars and exclamation points)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Love it

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2007

    Really Great Book

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2005

    Heather 14, history buff.

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2004

    Really, (too many to say,) good!!!!!!

    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!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2003

    Fantastic

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2001

    A Wonderful Book

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Yo

    IT'S COOL

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2007

    One of my Favorite books!

    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!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2000

    wonderful!!!!1

    wonderfully wrote book!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2014

    A MUST READ

    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!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    A lovely story

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    Beautiful

    Beautiful is just 1 word from many great words I would use to describe this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2003

    *OMG this is a good book!*

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2003

    Great Book!

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2001

    It made me feel like I was there

    Calico Captive is A beautifuly writen book about a courageous girl who faces:An indian gauntlet,three indians who hate her,a french woman who hates her,and a french man who loves her.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    A Wonderfuly Wonderful book!!!

    This book was a great read!!! I read it in 3 days. If your looking for a great read check this book out!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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