Gr 5-9-During the Dakota Conflict in 1862, Chaska, who is part Dakota, draws closer to his people and away from his friend Johnny, who is white. But when the boys are recruited to act as interpreters between the tribes and the town leaders, they are confronted by gruesome scenes of slaughter and looting by a rogue band of Indians. Although Johnny continues to stand up for his friend and the peaceful Indians, Chaska pushes him aside more and more, blaming all whites for the injustices against his people. When he is charged with a crime he didn't commit, he learns that Johnny is the only one he can really trust. This novel provides not only a colorful and eye-opening look at the war for territory in the Dakotas but also the innocent struggle to maintain friendship amid hostility. Although Johnny's is the dominant voice, Chaska is clearly the character who draws the most emotion from readers as he is challenged to choose between friendship and family.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.