Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

( 74 )

Overview

In this classic frontier adventure, Lois Lenskireconstructs the real life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as young girl and raised amongst the Seneca Indians. Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.

A fictional retelling of the experiences of twelve-year-old Mary Jemison, who after being captured by a Shawnee war party ...

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Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

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Overview

In this classic frontier adventure, Lois Lenskireconstructs the real life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as young girl and raised amongst the Seneca Indians. Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.

A fictional retelling of the experiences of twelve-year-old Mary Jemison, who after being captured by a Shawnee war party during the French and Indian War, is rescued and subsequently adopted by two Seneca sisters with whom she ultimately chooses to stay.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780397300761
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

In addition to illustrating the first four Betsy-Tacy books, Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was the 1946 Newberry Medal winning author of Strawberry Girl.

In addition to illustrating the first four Betsy-Tacy books, Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was the 1946 Newberry Medal winning author of Strawberry Girl.

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Read an Excerpt

Come What May


Molly-child, now supper's done, go fetch Neighbor Dixon's horse."

Molly looked up at her father. At the far end of the long table he stood. He was lean, lanky and raw-boned. Great knotty fists hung at the ends of his long, thin arms. His eyes looked kind though his face was stern.

"All I need is another horse for a day or two," the man went on. "Neighbor Dixon said I could borrow his. I'll get that south field plowed tomorrow and seeded to corn."

"Yes, Pa!" answered Molly. She reached for a piece of corn-pone from the plate. She munched it contentedly. How good it tasted!

Corn! All their life was bound up with corn. Corn and work. Work to grow the corn, to protect it and care for it, to fight for it, to harvest it and stow it away at last for winter's food. So it was always, so it would be always to the end of time. How could they live without corn?

The Jemison family sat around the supper table. Its rough-hewn slabs, uncovered by cloth, shone soft-worn and shiny clean. A large earthen bowl, but a short time before filled with boiled and cut-up meat, sat empty in the center. Beside it, a plate with the leftover pieces of corn-pone.

"You hear me?" asked Thomas Jemison again. "You ain't dreamin'?"

The two older boys, John and Tom, threw meaningful looks at their sister, but said no word. Betsey, tall, slender fifteen-year-old, glanced sideways at their mother.

Molly colored slightly and came swiftly back from dreaming. "Yes, Pa!" she said, obediently. She reached for another piece of corn-pone.

Inside, she felt a deep content. Spring was here again. The sun-warmed, plowed earth would feelgood to her bare feet. She saw round, pale yellow grains of seed-corn dropping from her hand into the furrow. She saw her long, thin arms waving to keep the crows and blackbirds off--the fight had begun. The wind blew her long loose hair about her face and the warm sun kissed her cheeks. Spring had come again.

"Can't one of the boys go?" asked Mrs. Jemison. "Dark's a-comin' on and the trail's through the woods. . ."

"Have ye forgot the chores?" Thomas Jemison turned to his wife and spoke fretfully. "There's the stock wants tendin'--they need fodder to chomp on through the night. And the milkin' not even started. Sun's got nigh two hours to go 'fore dark. Reckon that's time enough for a gal to go a mile and back."

"But it's the woods trail. . . " began Mrs. Jemison anxiously. "'Tain't safe at night-time. . ."

"Then she can sleep to Dixon's and be back by sunup," said the girl's father, glancing sternly in Molly's direction. He sat down on a stool before the fireplace and began to shell corn into the wooden dye-tub.

"Mary Jermison, do you hear me?" he thundered.

"Yes, Pa!" said Molly again. But she did not move. She sat still, munching corn-pone.

Jane Jemison said no more. Instead, she looked down at her hands folded in her lap. Her hands so seldom at rest. She was a small, tired-looking woman, baffled by both work and worry. Eight years of life in a frontier settlement in eastern Pennsylvania had taken away her fresh youth and had aged her beyond her years.

Little Matthew, a boy of three, climbed into his mother's lap. She caught the brown head close to her breast for a moment, then put him hastily down as a waiting cry came to her ears. The baby in the homemade cradle beside her had wakened. The woman stopped wearily, picked him up, then sat down to nurse him.

"Ye'll have to wash up, Betsey," she said.

Molly's thought had traveled far, but she hadn't herself had time to move. She was still sitting bolt upright on the three-legged stool when her ears picked up the roll of a horse's hoofs.

Nor was she the only one. The others heard, too. As if in answer to an expected signal, the faces turned inquiring and all eyes found the door. All ears strained for a call of greeting, but none came. In less time than it takes for three words to be said, the door burst open and a man stumbled in.

It was Neighbor Wheelock. He was short and heavy. Like Thomas Jemison, he too had the knotty look of a hard worker, of a frontier fighter. It was only in his face that weakness showed.

Wheelock gave no glance at woman or children. He said in a low but distinct voice to Thomas: "You heard what's happened?"

The clatter of a falling stool shook the silence and a cry of fear escaped. Betsey, white-faced and thin, clapped her hands over her mouth. Mrs. Jemison, the nursing baby still at her breast, stood up. "Let's hear what 'tis," she said, calmly.

Chet Wheelock needed no invitation to speak. The words popped out of his mouth like bullets from a loaded gun.

"It's the Injuns again!" he cried, fiercely. "They've burnt Ned Haskins out and took his wife and children captive. They've murdered the whole Johnson family. They're a-headin! down Conewago, Creek towards Sharp's Run, a-killn', a-butcherin' and a-plunderin' as they come. There ain't a safe spot this side of Philadelphy. I'm headin' back east and I'm takin' my brother Jonas's family with me."

Thomas Jemison looked up from his corn shelling, but his placid face gave no hint of troubled thoughts. A gust of wind nipped round the house and blew the thick plank door shut with a bang. The children stared, wide-eyed. Jane Jemison sat down on a stool, as if the load of her baby had grown too heavy and there was no more strength left in her arms.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(52)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    its ok...

    This book was about a girl named Mary Jemison, but everyone calls her Molly, and her adventure with the Indians and what they were like. She discovers how to cook like them, eat like them, and sew like them. She makes good friends on the way. My favorite character in this book was the Indian story teller because I really liked the stories he told. I did not really like the book because it was a little bit boring but I did like some parts. My favorite part was when the story teller came. My least favorite part was when Mary was just walking and walking. I really did not like the beginning of the story because I did not understand what was going on. It was not a bad book, but if you¿re like me and you like books that get to the point straight away and do not like super super long books that detail a lot, then you probably wouldn¿t like this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Do Not Read This Book

    This is a really bad book because I believe it is long and drawn out and lacks excitement, so I disliked it a lot.
    It is about a girl who gets taken away from her home to live with the Indians. The main character in the book is Molly. Will she ever get back to her family or stay with the Indians? Well, you will have to read the book to find out, even though I don't recommend this book to anyone because it is so bad. In fact, I say, do not read this book ever because it is so long and drawn out and if you do you will regret it. So just live with the fact that you don't know whether she goes home or not.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Indian Captive is a book I will always remember

    The Indian Captive is a book I will always remember. Molly Jemison, an average girl on the Pennsylvania home-front, is taken captive by the indians. Soon she finds out that she has been adopted by an American Indian woman called Earth Woman. Molly makes many friends in her fight to freedom and she soon finds out that she can feel just as at home with the indians as she did with her birth family. If you want to know if she will ever go back with her native people read this book NOW!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Want to read a book that will stick to your hands? Came to the right one.

    This book is the story of Mary Jeminson and her life with the Indians. Indian Captive is about a girl named Molly who is taken away from her family. She traveled with the Indians day and night, and finally was in her new home Seneca town. There she lived with the Indians. Learned their language, learned their lessons and much more. My favorite part of this book is when Molly feels like the Indians are her new family. I recomend this book to anyone who likes to sit for the whole evening and read. Is she going to like the Indians? Want to know? Read the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2007

    oustanding indian book!!!! a must read

    this book tells much of the beliefs and customes of the seneca. the story of mary shurly tells many of the prisoners storys. please take this for note. not all indians did this. many did, but only to replace loved one who died or were captured and killed. please dont hold this against anyone.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2003

    This is the WORST BOOK EVER!!!

    It is very disturbing to me that Mary Jemison could love the very people who slaughtered her family. I find this book disgusting. Some may call it a tale of acceptance, I call it just plain BAD!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 7, 2000

    THE BEST BOOK OUT

    This book is a must read. Its my favorite. I have probably read it 50 times and it never gets old. Every woman, no matter what your age, should read this book

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great exciting story

    Indian Captive is an amazing true story and is very touching. Indian Captive is about a girl that gets captured by the Indians and has to walk a long way before she reaches the Indian village Seneca town. She learns to plant, cook, and make clothes in the Indian way and she even learns to speak Indian and a lot more. My favourite part was when Molly the girl makes friends with Turkey Feather because that was just like how I make friends at new schools. If you like learning about Native American Indian cultures you will never put this book down. Even if you're not interested in Indians , give this book a try. Will Molly be able to stay with the Indians or will she run away?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book makes you excited at every chapter, making you want to read more.

    It is a story about a girl named Mary Jemison, (but she is always called Molly) getting kidnapped by Indians. By living with the Indians, she learns lots of things about nature and faces a new life.
    My favourite part of the story is when Molly makes friends with a girl the same age as her called Beaver Girl.
    I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about what kind of life Indians lead.
    If you want to find out if Molly ever went back to the white people again, go read the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Outstanding book!!!!!!!

    This book is really AMAZING!!!!!! I couldn´t put it down. I´ve read it over a dozen times and I still find it interesting.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    This book was sooooo awesome!

    I could never put this book down. I got it for my birthday and thought, 'Oh goodie, a book.' But, when I started to read it, I fell in love with it. That book is awesome!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 1999

    Great Book!

    This was a wonderful book! The description and plot was great! The author did a lot od research to write this book. She has about 5 pages in the front describing her work and a page of bibliographies in the back. The story keep you awake all nght reading! This is a must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Pretty darn good!

    I had to read it for YASA ( a book club for girls) and i really enjoyed it! If you like adventure and challenge this the book for U!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Comment 18

    You suck this book rules

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    To bad

    This is a good story, to bad the pictures are so small. To review before mine. You need to learn to spell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Indan Captive

    I really enjoyed reading the book. It is an eninteresting book to read. I like it because it adventerus book. I highly recamend it for people who read book adverturus book.

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

    Posted March 7, 2013

    TOTAL BOOOKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mmmmm

    RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Write in journal if you have toooooo

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

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Started reading

    I started reading this book for a book report never finish becuz its sssssssoooooooooooooo boring dont read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    Miles

    I agree with some other people. It sucks.

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

    Posted January 4, 2013

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

    It was my favorite book by far, it has my two favorite things, realityish stuff, and INDIANS!!!! I loved learning about the seneca indians and their lifestyle, and how they coped with the wars and settlers taking their land, that stuff always made me angry. I'd say great read for ages 9- I'm not sure. This book is GREAT although I'd strongly advise reading the free sample first, but I think you'd get sucked in anyway, I couldn't put it down!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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