The Winter People

( 4 )

Overview

Saxso is fourteen when the British attack his village. It’s 1759, and war is raging in the northeast between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people—Saxso’s people—by their side. Without enough warriors to defend their homes, Saxso’s village is burned to the ground. Many people are killed, but some, including Saxso’s mother and two sisters, are taken hostage. Now it’s up to Saxso, on his own, to track the raiders and bring his family back home . . . before it’s too ...

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Overview

Saxso is fourteen when the British attack his village. It’s 1759, and war is raging in the northeast between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people—Saxso’s people—by their side. Without enough warriors to defend their homes, Saxso’s village is burned to the ground. Many people are killed, but some, including Saxso’s mother and two sisters, are taken hostage. Now it’s up to Saxso, on his own, to track the raiders and bring his family back home . . . before it’s too late.

As the French and Indian War rages in October of 1759, Saxso, a fourteen-year-old Abenaki boy, pursues the English rangers who have attacked his village and taken his mother and sisters hostage.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142402290
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/21/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 321,107
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 20, 2012

    The winter people by joseph Bruchac is a book about a young man

    The winter people by joseph Bruchac is a book about a young man who has to take a journey alone to save his family. It is an exciting story where courage and bravery outshines fear and despair. The young man must create a plan to rescue his two sisters and mother.
    The main character Saxso has seen the bostniak rangers burn down his village and kill his people. The ones that survive have either hid or been taken hostage. I love the thrilling events in this story. I love the fact that a teenage boy can face a war without showing the slightest bit of fear just to save his family.
    The author Joseph Bruchac wrote this story to tell what really happened in the war of the bostniak and the French. He used a small village on the side of a river to tell the story. He uses Saxso and his family to describe the bostniak men and give details of the war. I love this story because of the action love and passion the author has incorporated into the story though a young man. This story is for in my opinion teens they can figure out that you can do a lot more than someone says you can. That’s another reason I like this story. This is an amazing story about Native Americans in the middle of a war and that tells there is going to be some action so if you like action read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    pretty good

    I began to read The Winter People because it is on my school reading list. It is not the type of book I would normally pick up to read for pleasure. However once I got into the book I found it quite interesting. The book takes place before people were civilized, and is about people who have a completely different way of living.
    The story is about an Indian tribe that gets torn apart by white people. But specifically the book tells about a boy named Saxso. He gets separated from his mother and two sisters while escaping, and as the head of the family it is his job to get his family back together. After learning they had been taken by whites, Saxso sets off for a long, difficult journey to rescue them.
    The Winter People is the type of book that is hard to start, but once you get into it, you'll be glad you kept reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    I liked this book because a boy is brave enough to go it the woods and try to find his mother and sisters when he knows full well that British soldiers had taken them hostage and they have guns and he could get shot. A fourteen year old boy named Saxso is in his village when British soldiers attack in 1756. War started in northwest between the British and the French with the Abenaki tribe (Saxso's people). On the day of the raid the Abenaki people were out looking for the British. Saxso's mother and sisters are taken hostage. It is up to Saxso to find and save his family can he do it. I recommend this book to someone that likes adventure books because it is all about an adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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