A great piece of historical fiction…

The Ransom of Mercy Carter by Caroline B. Clooney

Delacorte Press, Random House Children’s Books.

November 2002

Available in paperback and ebook

Caroline B. Clooney is a Young Adult writer I can count on.  She has written novels on a range of subjects so I can generally find a book by her to recommend to any child.

The Ransom of Mercy Carter is no exception.  This novel is based on the Mohawk ambush of Deerfield Massachusetts in February of 1704.  Clooney’s novel follows Mercy, a mature 11 year old already responsible for the care of her younger siblings.   She is one of 100 plus English settlers captured and marched towards Canada by the Indians.   Like Mercy, many of the captives are children.  Many of the captives don’t survive the 300-mile march.  Mercy and the other child hostages are spread out among the Indian families and the French families in Canada.  Some are holding on to hope that the English will send ransom and save them.  Others assimilate and become part of an Indian family.  Mercy struggles for survival and with finding her place in the culture she has been thrust into and the reader accompanies her on the journey.

I think this book is an excellent read for 7th and 8th grade students.  It gives readers a look at a time period they are probably unfamiliar with and will most certainly motivate the readers to learn more.


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