From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–This engaging piece of historical fiction begins in Québec in 1703. Witnessing the branding of a Pawnee "indien" slave, Cécile Chesne buys the young man to save him from further abuse and to ensure his freedom. Deeply indebted, Lesharo accompanies the teen and her father, a coureur de bois
, on their journey to Détroit. On the road, the travelers are on equal footing and forge a friendship based on mutual respect. However, when they arrive at the fort, it is clear that its residents expect Lesharo to assume a subservient role. A violent confrontation forces Cécile and her father to make a painful decision. In addition to providing a rich historical background and vividly re-creating the sense of wilderness, Trottier has drawn her characters and their relationships in a fully satisfying manner. There is plenty of action and a sweet romance in the mix as well.–Elizabeth Fernandez, Brunswick Middle School, Greenwich, CT
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Gr. 6-9. Cecile, who lives in Quebec in the early 1700s, sees a Lesharo, "an indien slave," being branded by his master. She buys Lesharo and frees him, and their paths become further intertwined when he accompanies Cecile and her father to Fort Detroit. They explore each other's cultures while growing to trust one other. Cecile, an independent young woman with a surprisingly forward-thinking father, makes a sympathetic heroine. Several historical people and events are woven into the story, but more memorable are the fictional characters at the forefront, their trials, and their relationships. Trottier, a Canadian writer whose ancestral tree includes branches at Fort Detroit, tells a memorable story without the sentimentality that often results when romance meets historical fiction. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved