cover image Night of the Full Moon

Night of the Full Moon

Gloria Whelan. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-84464-8

Whelan packs quite a story into this brief sequel to Next Spring an Oriole , set in 1841 in the shrinking woods near Saginaw, Mich. With Mama in labor, Libby Mitchell must miss the naming ceremony for her Indian friend Fawn's new baby brother. Libby sneaks off to the festivities alone but, just as they are about to begin, government troops round up everyone in the Potowatomi village for a forced migration west. With her tanned skin and dark hair, and dressed in Fawn's clothes, Libby is taken for an Indian and accused of lying when she tells the soldiers she is white. After three days of arduous journeying, Fawn's father orchestrates an escape in order to return Libby to her frantic parents and newborn brother, and to flee with his own family into the northern wilderness. Told in simple, well-chosen language, this satisfying chapter book is as captivating as any in the Little House series, but far more insightful and thought-provoking with regard to historical events and the not-so-rosy aspects of settler-Native American relations. Ages 7-9. (Nov.)