IT’S ANOTHER EDITION OF MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!
Driven to Stone Man’s trail…
After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live.
His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.
Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee warrior? And will they ever find their family?
A fast paced story sure to please historical fiction fans.
It’s a dangerous journey for Tsatsi and his sister. At the young age of twelve he has to become the leader and find safety, even though the rest of his family is gone. The two are almost always wet, cold, and hungry.
First person narration is the perfect point of view for the story. Each chapter ends with an enticing surprise or cliffhanger, which in turn keep the pages turning. Renegades, the Calvary, or sickness will for sure spell their doom, unless they can put their trust with the Stone Man.
The fourteen chapters are further divided into titled subsections, making this a good selection for a read aloud. Historical notes about the Trail of Tears are included in the back along with a glossary of words—both ones used in English and Cherokee.
An important story to tell and yes, good people do make life worthwhile.
PUBLISHED: 2019 PAGE COUNT: 162
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:
STONE MAN AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS by Charles Suddeth
- The story starts off at a frantic pace and doesn’t let up, sure to pull in readers who normally don’t read historical fiction.
- Tsatsi is a great character. He wants to take charge but his childlike size keeps him from doing so at times. Still though, he would rather die himself than have his sister hurt.
- The Stone Man was a welcome presence. You’ll be changing you mind about him right along with the two main characters.
- The Trail of Tears is not a well remembered part of our history. This story will help fill you in and erase any misconceptions.
- The ending. Perfectly executed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Charles Suddeth
Although I was born in Indiana and I grew up in Michigan, I have spent most of my life in Kentucky. I live in Louisville with my two cats, Binks and Wendy (Wendy says it should be Wendy and Binks). I am a graduate of Michigan State University. I have also done graduate work at MSU, Spalding University, and the University of Louisville. I am a member of Green River Writers, SCBWI (society of children’s books writers and illustrators, Midsouth), and International Thriller Writers.
(For more about Charles and his books visit his author website, Twitter, and Facebook page)
I received an arc from the publisher for my honest review.
If you have time, please comment below.
This sounds like a page turner about a time in our history that I know nothing about. Thanks for sharing it.
I enjoy Native American and First Nation stories. I’ve always been fascinated with the Trail of Tears, as some of it runs through Oklahoma, close to a place I used to visit. This book sounds like a very fast-paced and exciting read.
Kids really need to learn about the Trail of Tears. It’s such an awful chapter in our history. I’ve never heard of the Stone Man. This sounds fascinating, and you know I love historical fiction. I will be finding this one for sure. Thanks for the post.
Hi Greg, Thank you for your review. As you pointed out so well, I wanted this to be an adventure where kids can learn a little history and culture in the process.
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I hadn’t heard about this book before, and I’m intrigued. I grew up in Tennessee. Thanks for your review!
I appreciate this MG and its ability to reach kids and educate them about the Trail of Tears–which is something everyone should know something about. The book also sounds like a fun read, in addition to being informative. I’ll be on the lookout for it!
I agree with your insightful review of this novel. The fast pace definitely makes this a great classroom read-aloud. Thanks for sharing your thoughts for MMGM!
This is the book I would have loved to read with my kids when we were studying Trail of Tears history. Thanks for sharing it – I will definitely add it to my reading list!
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