One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more. I also mentioned that I was changing up some things on the blog. So, what does that have to do with this post? Well, while I’m currently on my “Quest To Read More Books in 2014,” I thought I’d share some of the books I’ve been reading by reviewing them. Today, I’m posting a review of an old book I recently read called Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. Somehow, when we studied American History, I never read this classic historical fiction. I’m glad I’ve gotten a chance to read this novel since it is one not to be missed!
Indian Captive by Lois Lenski is the story of the capture of twelve year old, Mary “Molly” Jemison by the Seneca Indians. Taken by the tribe, she is separated from her family and carried off to an Indian village where she is adopted by two Indian sisters. The Indians are mostly kind to her, and Molly struggles to retain her identity as a white girl and to remember her family. By the end of the book, Molly has a choice to make. Will she stay with the Seneca or return home?
Molly, the protagonist, is a great character. She doesn’t whine or complain through her trials, but bravely faces them which makes her an admirable and likable character. Molly is an easy character to get attached to, and I truly cared what happened in her life. The Indian characters in the novel are engaging as well, and Lenski does a fantastic job portraying Indian culture.
The story is based on the true account of Mary Jemison, who was captured by the Seneca in 1758. While some of the facts are changed so that the story flows better, it still remains accurate. Lenski did a TON of research in writing this book, as she explains in the foreword, and strove to present a true picture of the events. The best thing is while you’re enjoying the book, you can also learn some history. Two for one! 😉
Though the book’s age range is a bit younger than mine, I still enjoyed the story which took me just a couple days to read. While it isn’t exactly a thriller, it’s still pretty exciting. Another thing I enjoyed were the pictures in the novel. The very distinctive illustrations were actually drawn by the author herself. She also wrote another favorite children’s book of mine, Strawberry Girl. Since I enjoyed that book, it was neat to get to read another by her. Indian Captive won a Newberry Honor in 1942, and I think it definitely deserved it!
All in all, I would give Indian Captive a 4 star rating for being an enjoyable book with a great character and fascinating story.
Also, if you’re interested in Mary Jemison’s account of her captivity in her own words, you can find it here: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks/w00087.html