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The Second Bend in the River Mass Market Paperback – May, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW described this historical novel about a frontier girl and her romance with the Shawnee chief Tecumseh as "elegant and moving." Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9. Set around the turn of the 18th century, this book mixes fact, fiction, and conjecture to tell the story of Rebecca Galloway, a young girl living in the wilds of pioneer Ohio, and the visionary Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Rinaldi skillfully imagines seven-year-old Rebecca's initial meeting with Tecumseh and relates intermittent visits up through her teenage years, leading to his asking for her hand in marriage, an offer she refuses because their worlds are too different. Along the way readers are shown the difficulties and rewards of pioneer life, and introduced to the excitement felt by settlers who took part in the process of building a nation. The Galloways are drawn as a family with high principles: Rebecca's father fought in the Revolutionary War, moved his family away from Kentucky where slavery was permitted, and championed the cause of the displaced Indians among the not always sympathetic whites. Rebecca is a strong-minded character with a believable and authentic voice. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will find much to like about this well-written and carefully researched novel. It succeeds in presenting both the plight and frustrations of Native Americans and the exuberance of the early pioneers in a sympathetic way, although the author falls clearly on the side of those who mourn the loss of a culture destroyed by white settlers. A rewarding and satisfying read.?Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590742590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590742597
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,587,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love all her books, but the two I loved the most throughout all my reading were 'Time Enough for Drums', and this one, 'The Second Bend in the River'. I'm not really an historical romance buff, unless the romance is only part of a large web of historical detail and intriguing plot. These two stories, however, are almost all about the romance, and how the characters are affected by their love and the exciting times.
In this novel, a young girl Rebecca Galloway is growing up on the frontier. Relationships with the neighboring natives are tense: sometimes good, sometimes bad. She grows up in a household of brothers, learning to be self-sufficient and intelligent as well as attractive and feminine. It is this combination of qualities that draws Tecumseh, the legendary cheif who plans to unite the tribes to fight off the lying, cheating white government. Although he was there throughout her childhood, the age difference seems to be simply material and not worth thinking about.. in short, against all odds, they fall in love. When Rebecca is forced to make a choice between the dangerous and foreign life of Tecemseh's and her own "white" ways, things really start to get good.
However, at the end, I couldn't help but want to scream "You made the wrong decision!! Go back!!", even though the story works out so well as to completely make me love Rebecca's character, despite what I think was a poor choice on her part. Oh well, after reading the story, I couldn't help but understand, commiserate, and support Rebecca. I even thought she made the right choice after all.
I know I did, picking up this book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Second Bend In The River" is about Rebecca Galloway, an Ohio settler in the late 18th-early 19th century, and her life from ages seven to sixteen. While the book is pitched as a historical romance novel, it's more of an examination of life in the frontier and Indian-White relations in the early days, before the tensions reached the fever pitch released in the War of 1812.
When Rebecca is seven, she meets Tecumseh, the fabled Shawnee chief. At first she is afraid of him and suspicious of Indians in general, but her family is relatively open minded and she grows to like him. She teaches him to read better and improve his grammar. While this is happening, the peace achieved in the 1790's is slowly deteriorating and relationships between the Indians and the settlers worsen. Rebecca's good friend, Nancy Maxwell, hates Indians because one of them killed her baby a long time ago.
The main characters of "The Second Bend In The River" are mostly Rebecca's family and the other people in the town. Tecumseh is really a supporting character. That's one of the problems ... the book can't decide to be a historical fiction novel about the Indian conflict in the West or a love story. The relationship between Tecumseh and Rebecca isn't very well written- although we can tell when Rebecca starts to fall in love with him, it doesn't seem really genuine. Also, some of the writing is a little sappy and cliched, for example, when Rebecca wishes her name was "Break In Parts", because that's what her heart does around Tecumseh.
All those flaws aside, "The Second Bend In The River" is an interesting slice of frontier life in America's younger days. The historical detail, characterizations and good pace keep you interested all the way through. The ending is particularly poignant.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Second Bend in the River describes a young girl named Rebecca Galloway who falls in love with the great Indian leader, Tecumseh. Her family had moved to the Ohio territory to escape slavery in the newly formed United States of America. Beginning in the summer of 1798, the book traces Rebecca's life to 1813, during the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

When Rebecca first meets Tecumseh, she is only about seven years old, and their first conversation is really cute ("Tecumtha"). From that point on, Tecumseh and Rebecca develop a riveting friendship that eventually warms into deep love. Rebecca teaches Tecumseh some English while he teaches her how to canoe and some aspects of his heritage. The book goes on to cover Rebecca's growing up, the Galloway family (her many brothers and one sister), the town events and people, the hardships of life in the woods, and the people's distrust of Indians. All this gave me an insight of what life was like in the early 1800s, but oftentimes, I wondered when the book was going to get back to Tecumseh and Rebecca. Plus, the action could have been more in depth, for some parts were a little dry, and I suppose more description could have been used, although I thought the love between Tecumseh and Rebecca was depicted very sweetly. By the end, only the most stoic of readers will not utter a cry of empathy.

As she matures, her love for the Indian chief grows deeper, and in the end, she has to make a crucial decision that will affect the "fate of thousands." A bittersweet ending, but a good one nonetheless.
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By A Customer on May 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first Ann Rinaldi book I'd ever read, and I loved it. It was the factually-based story of Rebecca Galloway, a pioneer girl who actually lived. Amid the love story of her and Tecumseh are woven details about the Galloway family and pioneer life in Ohio. At the age of seven, she met Tecumseh, an Indian chief and family friend. He was quickly charmed by the "little straw hair girl". He visits the Galloways many times over the years. As a preteen, she falls in love with him. Her feelings grow with her, although he's old enough to be her father. When she's 16, he asks for her hand in marriage. Her dream has come true. But can Rebecca abandon her pioneer life to live in an Indian village? Read the book
I loved the book and couldn't put it down. I liked the author's style and word choice. Rebecca's growing passion for Tecumseh was described especially well. (we teenage girls know the feeling, don't we?) In a way, I felt as if I were falling in love with him too. One of my favorite scenes was when he gave her a canoe he'd made for her birthday and taught her to use it. He told her not to row to the second bend in the river without him there. This second bend was a good symbol for their progression to the romantic stage in their relationship. He didn't want her to fall in love with him until he was there again to show her his own love.
Overall, this book was enthralling and I'd reccomend it to any historical romance buff.
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