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Once on This Island Paperback – August 9, 1996
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7?A novel set on Mackinac Island, Michigan, during the War of 1812. Mary, 12, recounts her family's plight as her father leaves his motherless children tending the farm while he joins the American forces in Detroit fighting the British. Jacques, 15, struggles to keep his promise to take care of the farm and his two sisters when the temptation to join the army or the fur trading business prevails. Sixteen-year-old Angelique's flirtations with the British soldiers during the occupation of their island home infuriates both her brother and sister. Despite these distractions, the young people still manage to maintain a productive farm for the three-year period of the war. Whelan weaves the Indian and American culture together through a complex secondary character, Gavin, an Indian boy raised by Mary's neighbors, who is forced to come to terms with his heritage as he makes the crucial decision to leave his Anglo parents and way of life and rejoin his tribe. Well-rounded fiction that incorporates a little romance, adventure, drama, and history of an American period that is not as commonly used for background.?Rita Soltan, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 4^-7. Twelve-year-old Mary and her older brother and sister must tend the family farm on Mackinac Island when their father leaves to fight the British. Through Mary's narration, the everyday details of life in 1812 intertwine with larger events, as the fort is taken by the British, her sister flirts with an English lieutenant, and their friend Gavin returns to his Ottawa tribe to ransom his adoptive parents. Mary's resourcefulness and humor add liveliness to the solid historical facts, and her encounters with a wolf, some potential cow thieves, and the British at Fort Michilimackniac are all memorable. Mary's point of view occasionally becomes omniscient, and the ending of the story is a bit tidy, but Whelan's smooth writing, vivid characters, and strong sense of place make this a good choice for libraries and a treasure for ones in the Great Lakes area. Susan Dove Lempke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This is more of a romance novel than historical fiction. Skip this. Slightly more meaningful book set in this time frame is "Salt" by Helen Frost. Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
Mary is living on an island in the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. Her father goes off to fight when the British take over her island and shortly after her older brother leaves. Mary's older sister flirts with a British soldier while Mary runs the farm. An Indian friend leaves to fight for the British alongside his long-lost tribe, which adds to the confusion.
The first in a trilogy, the other 2 books are Farewell to this Island and Return to the Island. I havent read them yet, but Im planning to at least read Return to the Island. As I titled this review, it's good, but still...
Most recent customer reviews
Historical Fiction at it's finest.
It really gives you an inside look of what life was like back then.(13 yr old's words)