Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book review: Dear America: Standing in the Light by Mary Pope Osborne

Dear America: Standing in the Light by Mary Pope Osborne (New edition published by Scholastic, May 1, 2011; originally published in 1998)

Thirteen-year-old Catharine Logan, called Caty by her family and friends, lives in the Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania in 1763. Though she lives on the frontier, her life is somewhat carefree when the book begins. Her biggest worry is that she wants a boy at school named Jess Owen to notice her, but because she a Quaker she is worried about becoming vain, for vanity is a sin for Quakers. Then she learns that a group of settlers have massacred the residents of a peaceful Indian village. Caty becomes terrified that the Indians will retaliate by attacking settlers. Her worst fear comes true when Caty and her younger brother, Thomas, are captured by Lenape Indians.

Caty and her brother Thomas are treated well by the Lenapes, even though they are catpvies. They are adopted and shown kindness by their captors, as if they were members of the tribe. Still, Caty rebels every chance she gets. It is not until she becomes friends with Snow Hunter, a young man who was captured by the Lenapes as a child and chose to remain with the tribe, that Caty finds some hapiness in her new life, and she begins to wonder - does she even want to be rescued anymore?

I really enjoyed Standing in the Light when I first read in back in 1998, when it was originally published. I've always enjoyed historical fiction about Indian captives so I was glad when the Dear America series published a book about a girl captured by Indians. Caty was a likeable narrator and her adjustment to her new life seemed realistic. It was a little unbelievable that Caty was able to continue writing in her diary during her captivity but I was able to accept it due to the format of the series. Highly recommended for readers who enjoyed other Dear America books or who enjoy historical fiction about this subject.

No comments:

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Drowsy Town kit by Irene Alexeeva