DANIEL AND DRUM ROCK by Florence Simister


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Daniel Chapelier, who has been transplanted from France, to England to colonial Rhode Island by the virulence of the persecution against the Huguenots, longs for friends and roots. His loneliness (there are no other children near his age in the settlement) drives him to make friends with a Narragansett Indian boy. When an Indian sacred object turns up missing, Daniel is suspect, and his village is frightened and angry with him for trouble with the Indians would only compound their difficulties. The already settled Inglish resent them; take their land; ruin their crops. This resentment is fanned by young rabble rousers among the English who are unmasked by Daniel and an English boy (another friend-on-the-sly) at an open town meeting. The French and English divide the labor-- French tradesmen, English farmers-- and the Indians move on. It did happen this way-- sort of. Considering the children in colonial times, it is hard to conceive of Elders following juveniles in virtue-- or even listening much, especially at town meetings. The background, as in the author's Pewter Plate (1957, 383, J-131), is more remarkable than the plot possibilities. When Daniel is out of plantation politics, the book is better--family scenes and work scenes are well handled. It's a so-so book with a definite regional appeal.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1963
Publisher: Hastings House