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The Light in the Forest (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) Hardcover – September 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1400044269 ISBN-10: 140004426X

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Everyman's Library Children's Classics
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (September 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140004426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400044269
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Richter's (The Awakening Land) classic tale of a boy torn between families and cultures makes for a compelling audio adaptation. When he was just four years old, John Cameron Butler was captured by the Lenne Lenape Indians. He has since been adopted by the Indians, who named him True Son, and has grown to love the only family he has ever known, as well as the ways of his people. But now it's 1765 and in order to make a land deal, the Lenne Lenape and other tribes have agreed to return all their captives to the white Army, including now-15-year-old True Son/John. When he arrives at the Butler home in Paxton, Pa., True Son chafes at his white family's speech, customs and clothing, acting defiant and depressed. He soon manages (with help from his cousin Half Arrow) a dangerous escape and rejoins his Indian relatives. But once back among his people, True Son commits an act of betrayal that forces the Lenne Lenape to disown him forever, leaving him a young man unsure of where he belongs. Bregy's assured, crisp delivery gives extra resonance to Richter's careful scene-setting, quickly transporting listeners to a distinct, long-ago era. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-A classic in its own right, this novel by Conrad Richter (Knopf, 1953) lends itself well to the dramatic reading by Terry Bregy. John Butler, born in a small frontier town, was captured at age four by the Lenni Lenape Indians and raised by the great warrior, Cuyloga, who named the boy "True Son." He grew up thinking, feeling, and fighting like an Indian. Now rescued and restored to his family because of a treaty to return all white captives to their own people, John Butler rebels against this civilization and desires to return to the tribe. Escaping from the family farm in Pennsylvania, he discovers the eternal and irreconcilable conflict between the two worlds. "True Son"/John Butler asks, "Who am I? Where do I belong?" The narrative reading is replete with emotion; it reflects the harshness and the eloquence of the story as it is revealed. The benefits of listening to this moving tale are many; expression and dramatic reading aid understanding. For a sense of history and a sense of conflict between two different cultures, this novel is a masterpiece by one of America's finest writers. School and public libraries will want to make this a priority purchase.
Patricia Mahoney Brown, Franklin Elementary School, Kenmore, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I was being told a story, not experiencing it.
If you enjoy good writing, if you enjoy historical fiction, if you are especially interested in American history, I highly recommend this book to you.
Brenda G. Mcdonald
The fast-paced plot and witty dialogue were a cut above most contemporary YA books.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was not forced to read this book, like so many of the reviewers here. I was in my grade school library when I spotted the cover- two young, lean, armed Indians with mohawk haircuts walking through an impressionistic forest with a beam of light descending upon them. One Indian was entirely red, the other all white. I read the back cover. It was about a white captive among the Indians. I loved that subject as age ten and the book was my choice from the library that day. I must admit that it was tough going the first time I read it. It was sometimes hard to understand about whom he was referring to when True Son thought about his father and the book did lack action. I also admit that the ending was a let down. I wanted a cut and dried ending with no loose ends and LITF leaves the reader with a huge loose end. At ten years old, this book left me disappointed and confused.
Yet I voluntarily read it again not less than two years later and I fell in love with it the second time. I have since then read it at least once every year and sometimes more. I am 29 now. I cannot adequately describe why this novel still moves me. I can say it is beautifully written and has a truly moving story about a boy caught between two very different worlds. Also Richter's description of the beauty of nature and the way people can see the same facets of nature and of mankind in two completly different ways is incredible. I could go on and on why this novel means so much to me, but I will state simply that it is my all time favorite.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Hildebrand on March 10, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Poor Conrad Richter. His literary fate is like that of Steinbeck's shorter works - read by 8th graders. When I mention Richter to my friends they think more of the Newberry than the Pulitzer Prize. Historical novelists are rarely thought of as having written "literature", yet that is what Richter wrote. Like Steinbeck, his style was simple and clear and strong. Like Steinbeck he understood the pain of being human. After reading one of his brief novels - they are often only about 200 pages - I wonder why other writers need so many more words. Richter did not think of himself as an historical novelist. He wrote instead to give a sense of how people experienced time past. Things happen in his novels, but the events are secondary to the perceptions, attitudes and (dare I say?) psychology. "The Light in the Forest" is a wonderful example of his work. Though it is about a teenage boy, it is not the "coming of age" or "rite or passage" story that it is often described as. It is about a person who lives in a world that has gone beyond his control - his life has been wrested from him by national and racial politics. His choices turn him into an American isolato. Very contemporary. The out-of-print and equally good companion novel "A Country of Strangers" pursues the same themes. Only in "Country" the protaganist is a white who has lived with the Indians and been returned to the whites. Like "Light" one of its virtues is to see through other's eyes. I wish I had the space to quote Stone Girl's dissection of Christianity. Maybe someday Richter will get his volume in the Libray of American and all his works will come back in print, including my favorite, "The Free Man".
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
`The Light in The Forest' is a book about a young White boy from 18th century America who was born as a "frontier child" but was then stolen by Indians when very young and brought up as an Indian for ten years. His Indian name is True Son, and his white name is John Butler. When he is about 15 years old, he is forced to go back and live with his real White family. He is devastated because he was brought up to hate the Whites, and now he is being forced to live with them and to practice their culture. At first True Son refuses to comply at all with the Whites and tries to escape. After a while, and after spending much time with the Whites though, it seems that True Son is beginning to accept and become used to their culture, and is starting to lose his Indian ways. It looks as if all of the Indian in him has been run over and destroyed, when one night, he finds his old Indian friend / cousin and escapes with him from the Whites to a long journey back home to his old Indian town. It seems now that all the Indian he left behind has been renewed to him and most of what the whites forced into his head is gone when, with little warning, True Son must make a life-altering decision that will decide his fate, and that will decide what culture he is to live with.
I really enjoyed this book; it showed the conflict between whites and Indians in 18th century America very well. It was filled with action and adventure, and although short, it still developed the characters and the plot so that you had a broad understanding of what kind of decisions this young man had to make, how it must have been like being bounced from culture to culture (especially in that day), and how hard things must have been in general.
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