Return to Hawk's Hill

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When his family's nemesis, the evil trapper George Burton, suddenly reappears after a long absence, young Ben MacDonald runs off in fright and soon finds himself being whisked down the Red River in a rowboat without any oars. His father and brother, finding Ben gone and convinced that Burton has gotten him, set off on a desperate search. Meanwhile, Ben drifts into Lake Winnipeg and the home of the Cree tribe, whom he has been brought up to fear.

Will Ben ever be able to elude ...

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Overview

When his family's nemesis, the evil trapper George Burton, suddenly reappears after a long absence, young Ben MacDonald runs off in fright and soon finds himself being whisked down the Red River in a rowboat without any oars. His father and brother, finding Ben gone and convinced that Burton has gotten him, set off on a desperate search. Meanwhile, Ben drifts into Lake Winnipeg and the home of the Cree tribe, whom he has been brought up to fear.

Will Ben ever be able to elude Burton and safely navigate his way through dangerous Indian territory to find his way home? This suspenseful survival story, rich in historical and natural lore, is sure to satisfy the legions of fans of the first story about Ben and his family, Incident at Hawk's Hill, and to appeal to new readers as well.

Running away from a vicious trapper, seven-year-old Ben MacDonald is separated from his family and eventually ends up on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, where he is taken in by a tribe of Metis Indians.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
This long awaited sequel to Incident at Hawk's Hill is a suspenseful story of survival as seven-year-old Ben MacDonald runs away from the evil trapper George Burton. Stranded in the middle of Lake Winnipeg, he is rescued by the Cree Indian tribe that he was taught to fear. At first frightened, he slowly realizes that the Indians treat him kindly, and that they have a wonderful respect for nature. They are impressed by Ben's ability to communicate and calm wild animals, and they adopt him as a little brother. Meanwhile, his father, brother, and mother set off on a desperate search to find Ben, and they encounter their own adventures along the way. Young readers will not only find this book exciting, but will also learn much about geography and the ways of the Cree Indians.
VOYA - Judy Ehrenstein
Picking up exactly where Incident at Hawk's Hill (Little, Brown, 1971) left off, Ben MacDonald learns his first lesson in grief when the badger, injured by trapper George Burton, dies. A prologue offers an adequate summary of the first book, in which Ben, age six, spends the summer lost on the Manitoba prairie of 1870, saved by a female badger whose mate and children have been killed by Burton. Life goes on and Ben decides to walk home alone from school. It is on this walk that he encounters Burton. Ben flees, finds an oarless rowboat, and floats down the river, to be rescued by a young Metis boy and taken back to his village. His family, alerted to Burton's reappearance in the area, searches in vain for Ben, and in a breathtaking conclusion all is made right. While Incident at Hawk's Hill was a nature adventure based on a real incident, this one is far more historical in focus. In it, the relationships between the white settlers and the native people of western Canada are examined. This is a western with a multicultural perspective and is as much about Ben's survival as it is about acceptance and peace among the races. Ben's innocence and ability to communicate with beings others cannot-or will not-are extended to his accepting relationship with the Metis, despite language differences. This is a quiet, almost old-fashioned story, despite the violence brought in by George Burton. Ben may be seven years old, but his experiences and those of his family will hold the attention of older readers who like the adventure of Gary Paulsen and the historical settings of novels by Scott O'Dell and Elizabeth George Speare. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9). Brown,
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7Set in northern Canada in the 1870s, this sequel to Incident at Hawk's Hill (Little, Brown, 1995) tells the story of seven-year-old Ben, who's known for his uncanny way with wild animals. When he sees a local trapper threaten his older brother and sister, he takes refuge in his father's old rowboat, but soon discovers a new dangerhe's adrift on the river with no way of returning home. He is eventually rescued by a Metis youth. At the same time, his parents have embarked on a desperate search for Ben, and their stories alternate with his until they all meet at the Metis camp. The previous story is neatly summed up in a prologue that also sets the scene for this one, which takes place a year later. The author has obviously put a lot of effort into research, and his love of natural history is equally evident. Metis life is meticulously detailed and the natural setting is almost palpable. However, the sense of time and place is better developed than the characters, who tend to be one-dimensional. The villain is something of a stock character, and many others, especially the Metis chief, give long, preachy speeches that make this novel more like a morality lesson than a story. The occasional moments of gripping adventure are overwhelmed by the stiff dialogue and characters. Fans of the first book will enjoy this one because it does resolve some leftover plot points, but it may be difficult to expand the readership to those unfamiliar with that work.Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
In this tardy sequel to 1971's Incident at Hawk's Hill, seven-year-old Ben MacDonald is again lost, this time on huge Lake Winnipeg, then rescued by Metis Indians, into whose uniformly noble hearts he strikes awe with his amazing ability to communicate with animals. After recapping the events leading to the death of the beloved female badger, Eckert starts the new story with its burial, then advances nine months where a chance encounter with brutal trader George Burton sends Ben scrambling for cover. Only too late does he discover that the boat he borrows is oarless; helplessly, he drifts down the Red River into open water. Fortunately, a young hunter spots him, and soon Ben is lodged with the Metis, settlers of mixed Cree and French descent, studying long lists of multisyllabic Cree words. Meanwhile, Ben's family searches for him frantically. Eckert is not one for complex characterization, either personal or cultural; Burton is dirty, violent, and cowardly, while Ben is so saintly that he is adopted into a family as Ka Kakekinit, the "Chosen One." The point of view switches often, allowing for only rare glimpses of the lyrical descriptions of the natural world for which Eckert is known. In the end, the MacDonalds are reunited, Burton is decisively run off, and Ben's father apologizes for his previously expressed prejudice against "half-breeds." This bland and simplistic wilderness adventure responds toþwithout satisfyingþreaders who wanted to know "What happened next?" (map) (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613286220
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.78 (d)

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