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Storm Clouds



Available in paperback, ebook and audio


it is the time when the leaves

are small on the trees.

too small

for hiding.


The year is 1812. A white trapper is murdered and a young Chippewa man 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.

Curriculum Connections


Early Settlement, First Nations people, Poetry.

Recommended for Grades 5 to 8

Crooked River


256 pages

Publisher: Knopf

Setting: Ohio in 1812

School Library Journal

"A must-read for fans of historical fiction...would aptly serve as a discussion-rich tool for American studies."
Starred review

Kirkus Reviews

"This vivid look into the reality of crude frontier life and justice is outstanding historical fiction." 
Starred review

The Sanford Herald

"This is a nail-biting historical fiction account."
Wood Panel



Junior Library Guild selection

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

Cuyahoga (Crooked) River, Ohio
Storm Clouds

Quick Classroom Idea


Crooked River is written from two alternating points of view -- the voice of Chippewa John Amik and settler Rebecca Carver. 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.


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