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Malian’s Song is based on the true story of a deliberate...
Malian’s Song is based on the true story of a deliberate attack by English Major Robert Rogers on Québec’s St. Francis Abenaki community in 1759. Malian's account of “Rogers's Raid,” passed down through generations of Abenaki oral tradition, reveals that many Abenaki people survived the attack that destroyed their village, in direct contrast to Rogers’ journal accounts. Jeanne Brink, a descendant of Malian living in Vermont, told the Vermont Folklife Center the little-known Abenaki version of the brutal attack. In this first Abenaki and English picture book, preeminent Abenaki historian Marge Bruchac and illustrator William Maughan portray Malian’s story of a people's strength and fortitude in the face of unspeakable loss.
This story, based on an English attack on the Abenaki in 1759, is notable for relating a lesser-known piece of history passed down through oral storytelling. Before the raid, Malian lives a happy life with her family. All that is destroyed when the English set fire to the entire village and her father is killed. Grief stricken, the girl makes a Lonesome Song. Eventually, the people rebuild, but vow never to forget. The art captures the details of the child's life, including homes, dress, and daily experiences. An afterword describes the event and how it was passed along and "discovered" nearly 200 years later. The story is told by Malian, with the text appearing in boxes over the full-page illustrations. The colors are muted, creating a feeling of reflection. Although the book relates a devastating experience, many of the scenes are peaceful, and the use of the past tense distances readers from the violence. Recommend this to history or English teachers for use in oral-history units.
—Cris RiedelCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.