The Winter People

The Winter People

by James Bernardin
     
 
Saxso is fourteen when the British soldiers attack his Canadian village. It is the year 1759, and war is raging between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people-Saxso's people-by their side. In fact, most of the men of Saxso's village are away looking for the British elsewhere on the day of the attack. There aren't enough people home to put up a proper

Overview

Saxso is fourteen when the British soldiers attack his Canadian village. It is the year 1759, and war is raging between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people-Saxso's people-by their side. In fact, most of the men of Saxso's village are away looking for the British elsewhere on the day of the attack. There aren't enough people home to put up a proper defense, and the village is destroyed. Many people are killed and some are taken hostage, including Saxso's own mother and two younger sisters. It's up to Saxso, on his own, to track the raiders and bring his family back home.

Riveting and poignant, this novel sheds new light on history, offering the fascinating untold story of the Abenaki perspective on the French and Indian War. Joseph Bruchac is acclaimed for his novels about Native American history and culture, and he is at his very best with this tale of family and community, courage and sacrifice.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Bruchac turns to his own family's history as the basis for this novel about a raid in 1759 on a small Abenaki village named St. Francis in what is now Quebec. The people of the village were closely tied to the French colonists and had raided English settlements to their south; this was a retaliatory raid that killed many women and children. The main narrator is a tall youth, Saxso, whose father is dead. Saxso feels that he hadn't been vigilant enough when his mother and little sisters were taken captive by the English raiders, called Bostoniak; much of the subsequent action takes place as Saxso tracks the party south for days and eventually rescues them. Bruchac's own ancestors and those of his wife are linked to the village of St. Francis; his family considers this the most important work he has accomplished, telling the Abenaki side of the story. (Historians have told the story from the New England settlers' viewpoint, which has been recorded in most history books; the novelist Kenneth Roberts wrote of the raid in Northwest Passage, which became a film starring Spencer Tracy.) What offends the surviving Abenaki Indians (including Bruchac and his family) is how the raiders are portrayed as heroes and that the white people had reported that this raid effectively exterminated the Abenaki people. What will most appeal to YA readers is the strength, knowledge, and courage of young Saxso as he travels alone through the wilderness to save his family. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Penguin Putnam, Dial, 168p.,
— Claire Rosser; KLIATT
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-A heartbreaking but exciting story. In a Quebec village during the French and Indian War, 14-year-old Saxso, an Abenaki, is caught in a struggle of survival and rescue when his mother and sisters are kidnapped during a massacre raid by the English Rangers. Bruchac has based this historical novel on an event that took place in the fall of 1759 when Major Robert Rogers of the English forces led a group of 200 men in an attack on St. Francis. For the Abenaki, the struggle to survive, rebuild, and continue throughout the generations was nearly lost. Through Saxso's own words, Bruchac leads readers through the boy's pursuit to save his family. He is also depicted as religious, with beliefs that are a mixture of Abenaki and Christian teachings. An excellent complement to Native American or French and Indian War units with high discussion potential.-Rita Soltan, formerly at Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Full of history, danger, courage and raw survival, this compelling novel by acclaimed author Joseph Bruchac is certain to have readers on the edge of their seat, start to finish." —The Dallas Morning News

"Historical fiction doesn't get much better than this. The narrative itself is thrilling." —Booklist, starred review

"A heartbreaking but exciting story." —School Library Journal, starred review

"An exciting and well-written novel that will appeal to any reader who enjoys a good story." —VOYA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803726949
Publisher:
Dial
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.82(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Full of history, danger, courage and raw survival, this compelling novel by acclaimed author Joseph Bruchac is certain to have [readers] on the edge of their seat, start to finish. (The Dallas Morning News)

Meet the Author

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Skeleton Man, and The Heart of a Chief. For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.josephbruchac.com.

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