RETURN TO THE ISLAND by Gloria Whelan

RETURN TO THE ISLAND

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This third installment in Whelan’s Island Trilogy portrays 19th-century daily living and the tension between the Native Americans and white settlers. Picking up where Farewell to the Island left off, Mary is running the family farm without her father, now deceased. Two men in Mary’s life strive for her attention. James, who has pursued her from England, still wishes for her hand, while her childhood friend, White Hawk, shows his affection in a more steadfast way. White Hawk divides his time between helping Mary on the farm and assisting his tribe. There is great tension between the Sauk Indian tribe and the American Fur Co., whose proprietors, though they brought commerce to the island of Michilimackinac, use unsavory means to monopolize trapping. As winter takes hold, White Hawk finds he must return to his people; starvation is imminent and he must help them find an alternative to selling their land to white men. It is Mary who conceives of the plan that brings food to the Indians. James eventually finds his true love elsewhere, and Mary and White Hawk wed. Mary opens the first school for girls while White Hawk continues to assist his people. Mary’s romance with White Hawk comes off lukewarm, and the narrative never has much momentum. Still, for Mary’s fans and those wishing to gain a unique insight into this short but devastating time in Native American history, this is a worthwhile read. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-028253-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000




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