cover image Peacemaker


Joseph Bruchac. Dial, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-98-481537-8

Through 12-year-old Okwaho, who loves to make songs, Bruchac (One Real American) brings a fresh point of view to this briskly told fictionalization of the Iroquois Confederacy’s beginnings. Okwaho’s family is one of 14 who leave the big village of Onontaka—and the protection of Atatarho, a powerful warrior chief—to avoid “the conflict that never ended”: fighting among the five Iroquois Nations. But while trout fishing, Okwaho’s best friend Tawis is kidnapped by members of the Oneida, putting the boys’ small community at risk of reentering the cycle of violence. When Carries, of the Ganiekehgaono Nation, arrives, he brings with him a message of peace that he hopes to circulate among the nations—one that also helps Okwaho navigate his own conflicts. If the pace slows in the book’s second half, as Bruchac interweaves Okwaho’s narrative with Haudenosaunee stories of the Peacemaker—whom the Creator sent to end the warfare—the tales bring a depth and resonance to the life and history of the Iroquois Confederacy, as well as to Okwaho’s understanding of the world. Ages 9–12. [em]Agent: Barbara Kouts, Barbara Kouts Literary. (Jan.) [/em]