it is the time when the leaves
are small on the trees.
The year is 1812. A white trapper is murdered and a young Chippewa Indian stands accused. Events unfold in the alternating poetic and prose voices of the accused man and a thirteen-year-old settler girl trying to save his life. Crooked River offers a powerful look at prejudice, justice, and the clash of two cultures on the frontier. Based on a true story. Includes a Reader’s Theater script at the end.
Junior Library Guild
Great Lakes Book Award Finalist
New York Public Library Top 100
Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Starred reviews in Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
State Reading Award Lists: Oklahoma, Maryland, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire
“This vivid look into the reality of crude frontier life and justice is outstanding historical fiction.”- Kirkus Reviews, starred
“Crooked River is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and would aptly serve as a discussion-rich tool for American studies.”- School Library Journal, starred
“This is a nail-biting historical fiction account…”- The Sanford Herald
“This was an amazing book for literature circles because there is so much to talk about.” – Isabel, 7th grade
Quick Classroom Idea
Crooked River is written from two alternating points of view. However, Indian John Amik’s point of view isn’t included after every chapter. Have students reread Chapter 10 (pages 58-61) and write a poem in the voice of John Amik, giving his reaction to the settlers’ treatment of him in Chapter 10.
Read a Sample poem