A resourceful young Navajo’s efforts to rescue his family are complicated by dust-ups with a violent gang of slave traders in the second episode of this Civil War–era trilogy (Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner, 2013).
Tingle packs a lot into this slim book, braiding action with too-little-known history for an effective period adventure. Freshly escaped from a west Texas prison camp, Danny immediately rides for Fort Sumner in New Mexico—only to fall into the clutches of slavers. Thanks to harrowing experiences that have transformed him from a “tough young man who fought with his fists to a strong young leader who fought with his thinking,” Danny copes admirably. He not only leads his captors into an ambush, but goes on to join an attack on their compound and rescue other captives. He also rejoins his family and other displaced Navajos clustered around Fort Sumner in time to save them from the same gang and, having encountered so much death and violence, receives a healing ceremony from his grandfather. By the end, things are looking up, but the Blackgoats’ trials are far from over.
A suspenseful middle volume. (Historical fiction. 10-13)