Ghost Hawk

19 Nov

ghost-hawkI’ve been captivated by historical fictin since I was young and I especially loved The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare and Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.  I read Ghost Hawk this week and what a perfect time of year, the book takes place around the Plymouth colony, mainly before the first Thanksgiving.

Little Hawk returns to his village after three months of solitude in the wilderness where he became a man to find his entire village devastated by disease – only his grandmother alive and on the brink of death.  His Pokanoket tribe contracted Yellow Fever after trading with the white people who have begun to move into the area.  A new village is formed from the remains of three villages and Little Hawk and his grandmother are adopted into the family.  But soon the unthinkable happens and Little Hawk is killed by a white man, his spirit does not leave this world and soon the ghost of Little Hawk befriends a white boy named John Wakeley.

Here the story shifts to John’s story of the loss of his father, his apprenticeship, his friendship with Little Hawk and his better understanding of what his fellow Pilgrims call the “savages.”  This story is beautifully written and does not shy away from the horrendous things that occurred as the white man settled the land and fought the Native Americans.  This title could easily be used in conjunction with historical text in the classroom with it’s detailed and researched account of this perilous time period.

Susan Cooper is a well-known children’s author.  For more information, check out her website!

Title: Ghost Hawk
Author: Susan Cooper
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: 2013
Page Number: 328 pgs.


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