Ghost Hawkby Susan Cooper
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk/b>
From Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper, a story of adventure and friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler.
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.
John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.
The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel.
Gr 6–9—Cooper takes a departure from her well-known fantasies to present a thoughtful historical fantasy. The story begins around 1620, when Little Hawk is nearing proving time to become a man in his Wampanoag tribe. One winter's morning, he is sent out into the woods alone, armed only with a bow and arrows, a tomahawk, and a knife. He must try to survive for three moons before returning to his family. When he does, he is devastated to find that everyone except his grandmother has died of smallpox. He, along with his grandmother and one of his friends, finds shelter with another tribe, and as they settle in he has his first encounter with local Pilgrims. Little Hawk begins a friendship with a white boy named John Wakely that will change both of their lives forever. After Little Hawk is killed, his ghost helps John navigate their different cultures and language, while the world around them changes and tensions between the Natives and the settlers grow. While this is a beautifully written story, it is a bit slow-moving and not wholly accessible to its target audience. Little Hawk and John begin the story as children, but they eventually grow up, and the book spans approximately 50 years, even touching into modern times. Young readers may have difficulty following all of the history.—Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA
Read an Excerpt
He had left his canoe in the river, tied to a branch of a low-growing cherry tree. Now there was green marshland ahead of him, all round the river’s last slow curve. He pushed his way through waist-high grass toward one of the three high places in the marshland, where trees grew. They were islands of trees, never visited; the duck hunters went only to the marsh. He had chosen this place months ago, and now was the day to come back.
In a squawking flurry two ducks erupted ahead of him, flying low, but his bow stayed on his back; he would not hunt till later, on the way home. He reached the trees—a tangle of pin oak and cherry, sumac and hickory, juniper and birch—and threaded his way through the grabbing branches to the two rocks that marked the tree he had chosen. There it still was, beside the rocks, still the proper shape: the small bitternut hickory tree with its twin leading stems growing in a slender V.
He gave the tree a respectful greeting, and explained what he was about to do.
The woven birch-bark pouch was heavy round his neck. He took out the stone blade, a long, notched rectangle of flint with one edge chipped to a fine sharpness. This blade had belonged to the tomahawk used by his father and his grandfather, until its handle broke; nobody knew where it had come from or when it was made. It was very precious to him.
Carefully he fitted the blade into the cleft between the tree’s two slim branches, twisting them together above it. Then, with tough strands of deer sinew from his pouch, he bound the joined branches tightly above the stone—so tightly that they would grow together as the years went by, enclosing the blade.
To make a tomahawk for your son, you needed the stone blade, and the wooden shaft, and time.
In my father’s day, there was still time.
When he’d finished his binding, he thanked the small tree, and gave it good wishes to grow straight and strong.
Then he went back across the marshland to his canoe. On the way he shot three ducks, for the feast celebrating the arrival of the baby son who had been born early that day.
I was that son. Because Flying Hawk was my father, the name they were giving me was Little Hawk.
Meet the Author
Susan Cooper is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor. She is also the author of Victory, a Booklist Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth book and a Washington Post Top Ten for Children novel; King of Shadows, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor book; The Boggart; Seaward; Ghost Hawk; and many other acclaimed novels for young readers and listeners. She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at TheLostLand.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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When Little Hawk came back from his hunt, he found all the people in his village dead. He went to his home and found his grandmother there, Suncatcher, barely alive. Soon Leaping Turtle, a friend also on a hunt, came back home to. They were the only people left alive. They survived for a couple of days, regaining their health, before they left to a neighboring village. They found out that the white men came and brought a deadly disease and it killed tons of people in their villages. At the village, they found Quickbird, Little Hawk’s little sister. She was delighted that they were alive and thought that they were dead. After a few days, some white men came to learn the way to fish properly. There was also a little boy named John that liked to play with the Indian kids and Little Hawk. As they left, Little Hawk and John formed a forever friendship. After many years, Little Hawk met John again when Little Hawk and Leaping Turtle were running a message to Yellow Feather, the sachem of the tribes. Little Hawk went to go help the screaming John get his father out of a fallen tree. Two men in the background thought that Little Hawk was attacking the little boy, so they shot at Little Hawk and nailed him in the heart. Little Hawk was no more and John was sheading more tears than ever over the lost of Little Hawk. Little Hawk became a spirit. After a decade of years, John went to be an apprentice. He was going to learn how to make barrels. One day, at dawn, he saw Little Hawk as a spirit and talked to him. They never forgot each other, especially when the tension between the white men and Indians grew to a point when they were about to have war. I liked this book because I have always liked Indian stories and mystery. I really liked it when Little Hawk went to save John’s father and there was suspense in the air. I’ve learned that you can’t ever have a better gift than friendship. I also learned that friendship is an ever bond with someone. I would recommend this book to people who like murder, mystery, or who likes Indian stories.
This book starts and ends good but parts of the middle are boring but overall you should read it.
I love this story, it is a history of the first English contact with the woodland Native American Indians in the east coast. What it must have been like with all the beautiful land and the start of the changing of life for them. Ghost Hawk and John were good friends to the very end. Highly recommended for every one to read.
I am not a History or Historical Fiction person but this book grabs you right from the beginning. Can't wait to read it for a second time.
Name: 0.0---Age: 26 moons---Gender: Male---Looks: Tabby fur and a long tail. He has one amber eye and one bright blue one. The bright blue one is blind and he has a large scar running the legnth of his face theough the eye. If you were to look at his good side only, he looks normal---Rank: Warrior---Clan: Sunclan---Former Mentor: Was not active---App: None---Skills: Fighting and hunting---Powers: Can see starclan cats with his bad eye, used to be able to fly---Weaknesses: His bad eye and his back---Family: Grandmother: Rockstar---Grandfather: Unknown---Father: Strongstrike---Mother: Dawnlight---Siblings: Don't rp anymore, so not relevant---Crush: Tigernight---Mate: Tigernight---Kits: None yet---History: Really long.---Personality: meet me---Theme Song: Jurassic Park Suite by John Williams
I havent read it is it good?