Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
Exciting and Educational
on August 3, 2003
As a lover of historical fiction and a student of colonial North America, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Originally written in 1946, "Madeleine Takes Command" is a true story of the 17th century Canadian frontier. With her parents away, it is up to 14 year old Madeleine de Vercheres and her two younger brothers to lead the defense of a small outpost against a surprise Mohawk attack. Based on actual events, this book gives us comfortable moderns a harrowing glimpse into the rough and perilous past.
The characters are charming, sympathetic, and perfectly in keeping with those real people described in the Jesuit Relations and other primary sources of the time period. Though Madeleine is truly a courageous figure, at no time does she become "Xena, warrior princess," performing impossible feats of physical strength. Instead, she is able to preserve the family homestead with quick thinking, tireless energy, steady resolve, self-denial, an optimistic spirit, and devotion to family.
This Bethlehem reprint is attractively presented and includes a dozen or so illustrations. It's perfect for kids ages 10 and up, and also an enjoyable read for an adult. It makes great supplemental reading for the study of colonial North America and is highly recommended to homeschooling parents.