SOFT RAIN by Cornelia Cornelissen


The Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Cornelissen (Music in the Wood, 1995, etc.) relates a tragic chapter of American history, the removal of the Tsalagi, or Cherokee, from their land in North Carolina and their march westward to Oklahoma, as seen by a nine-year-old Tsalagi girl. Soft Rain is informed at school one day of the removal of her people; in no time, soldiers barge into her home and break apart her family. She and her mother are taken to a stench-filled stockade, where the white man’s sickness quickly kills her cousin and best friend, Green Fern. Soft Rain is a strong and sympathetic character, as well as a good storyteller, evoking the harsh winters, hunger, and rage that are part of her journey, as are her experiences with the kindness of strangers. Among the rousing details in the narration are Soft Rain’s whispers to a soldier through the fence to get information, her worries over the uktena, or horned snake, when crossing the river, and her silent huddling with her brother under a blanket in the pouring rain. Such particulars enlighten readers, even as the characters themselves transform a sorrowful story of adversity into a tale of human resilience. (bibliography) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-32253-4
Page count: 116pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1998