Anikwa and James, twelve years old in 1812, spend their days fishing, trapping, and exploring together in the forests of the Indiana Territory. To Anikwa and his family, members of the Miami tribe, this land has been home for centuries. As traders, James’s family has ties to the Miami community as well as to the American soldiers in the fort. Now tensions are rising,the British and American armies prepare to meet at Fort Wayne for a crucial battle, and Native Americans from surrounding tribes gather in Kekionga to protect their homeland. After trading stops and precious commodities, like salt, are withheld, the fort comes under siege, and war ravages the land. James and Anikwa, like everyone around them, must decide where their deepest loyalties lie. Can their families, and their friendship,survive?
In Salt, Printz Honor author Helen Frost offers a compelling look at a difficult time in history.
Frost explores the wide-ranging impact of wartime aggression through the intimate lens of two 12-year-old boys caught in the crossfire of the War of 1812. Frost deftly tells the tale through each boy’s voice, employing distinct verse patterns to distinguish them yet imbuing both characters with the same degree of openness and introspection needed to tackle the hard issues of ethnocentrism and unbridled violence. Sensitive and smart: a poetic vista for historical insight as well as cultural awareness.
Starred review, Kirkus.
While acknowledging the uncertainties, misunderstandings, and occasional animosities of war, Frost also celebrates the relationship of both the Miami people and the Americans with the land and with each other.
Explanatory notes and a glossary of Miami words are appended to the lovely evocation of a frontier America and the timelessness of friendship.
Starred review, Booklist