Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Opening this little book, which does resemble a diary, reveals the personal thoughts of Catharine, a Quaker girl living in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania in 1763. The Quakers had lived in peace with the Native Americans who they treated fairly and with respect, but greed and a burgeoning population have changed that relationship. Catharine and her brother Thomas are captured and brought to live separately among the Lenape. The separation from her family and her brother is difficult and only her faith and the ability to write in her dairy seem to provide solace. Finally, she begins to accept her new life and is even reunited with her brother. But life takes another twist and the heartbreak continues. Osborne's words paint the images and readers feel Catharine's anguish in this moving story of a young girl caught between two cultures.
The ALAN Review - Laura M. Zaidman
Part of the Dear America Series and subtitled The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763, this easy-to-read story should appeal to reluctant readers. Catharine, a spirited adolescent, writes about her Quaker life, then her capture by the Linape tribe and her return home. Her journal's epistolary style (reminiscent of Joan Blos's Newbery Medal-winning A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32) offers a sense of immediacy as her experiences come alive. Balanced nicely are the book's historical facts, such as William Penn's establishing his "A Holy Experiment" in Quaker government in 1682, and the engaging human interest story a girl's coming of age. The appendix provides additional material to illuminate this fascinating period in American history, for example, notes about colonial America, maps, illustrations of Penn and the Lenape, candle-making instructions, and the title page from a 1682 captive narrative.
From the Publisher
Praise for the Dear America series:
“More than a supplement to classroom textbooks, this series is an imaginative, solid entre into American history.” Publishers Weekly
“An impressive series that will challenge students to make connections from prominent historical events to relevant life situations . . . A wonderful asset to the classroom as well as to home libraries.” Children's Book Service Review
“Engaging, accessible historical fiction.” School Library Journal
“The Dear America diaries represent the best of historical fiction for any age.” Chicago Tribune
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Caty relates her experiences as a thirteen-year-old Quaker girl in Pennsylvania from November 1763 through November 1764 through journal writings. The first entries give information about her home, school, and church life in the colony. Then Caty and her younger brother are captured by the Lenape Indian tribe on January 4th. Journal entries from that date through October 10th are undated as Caty describes her initial feelings of anger and then her eventual adjustment to life with the Indians. About the time she has grown to love and respect her captors, Englishmen invade the village. They massacre her adopted family and friends. She and her brother are greatly changed when they return home. Caty is happy to be reunited with her family, especially her father, but vivid memories of the past ten months prevent her from slipping back into the life she left. An appendix contains drawings and copies of historical paintings from the era. Although the author notes that the story is fictional, the historical accuracy concerning both the Quakers and the Lenape make this a good source for colonial studies as well as an engrossing coming of age tale. Part of the "Dear America" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.