Penguin CanadaSKU: 014240229X

Joseph Bruchac
Grade Levels:
Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine
Abenaki, Woodland
Book Type:
Copyright Data:

Sale price$9.50


The Winter People is a historical novel by Abenaki author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac. In this story set in 1759 during the French and Indian War the reader is taken to the Abenaki village of St. Francis (Odanak). British soldiers attack this Abenaki village while the men are away and kill many of the people taking several hostages. Among the hostages are the mother and younger sisters of the story's main character, fourteen-year old Saxso. The narrative then follows Saxso as he attempts to track down his family and save them. These Abenaki are Catholic and Saxso does not understand the behaviour of the British soldiers. He suffers a wound during the attack but leaves immediately to find his beloved family. He travels several days until he manages to locate his mother and sisters. What carries Saxso along this difficult journey are the teachings of his parents and his uncle, his great-grandfather, and surprisingly two Non-Native people who aid in his recovery. The story is fast-paced and the reader is drawn into this historical event through the first-person narrative. Saxso could feel tremendous hatred for the British but he draws on his teachings to find courage, strength, and healing. This novel would make an excellent introduction to Canadian history classes because it provides the much-needed First Nations' perspective of an historical event. It also draws readers to conclude that hatred and fear of others can be overcome as this Abenaki youth finds that having a cold, winter heart can consume him and he realizes he must keep summer in his heart. Lexile Level: 800; Guided Reading Level: V; Reading Level: 5.0; ATOS Level: 5.5. Slide Share Program: Catholic Education

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