Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Helen Frost. FSG/Foster, $17.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-374-36387-1
Using a narrative poetry format, Frost (Hidden) artfully crafts a fiction-based-on-fact story of events at Fort Wayne in the Indiana Territory in 1812. Pages alternate between the insightful voices of two 12-year-old friends: Anikwa, a member of the Miami nation, and James Gray, whose family runs the fort’s trading post. The poems offer each boy’s perspective on events, such as playing together in the woods or, later, the siege of the fort and subsequent burning of Miami villages. The layouts of the boys’ narration visually highlight the contrast between their cultures: Anikwa’s centered verses expand and contract in the organic shape of traditional Miami ribboncraft, while James’s left-justified, double-line stanzas represent the U.S. flag’s stripes, Frost explains. Lyrical poems about salt, a traded commodity necessary to both cultures, are interspersed: “Tears come from earth and sky,/ from words moving through us./ We taste them as they fall,/ leaving salt streaks on our faces.” Author notes and a glossary of Miami words conclude a very personal account of history that offers much for discussion. Ages 10–14. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 07/23/2013
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-250-12707-5
Ebook - 160 pages - 978-0-374-36388-8
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-250-06289-5
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