My friends at Open Road Publishers and Net Galley kindly sent me a digital download of “Indian Captive” by Lois Lenski to review. This middle grade novel was originally published over 50 years ago, and Open Road re-released it in December. It tells the story of Mary Jemison, a young Pennsylvania girl taken by Indians when she was ten. Mary lived many years with the Seneca, and grew to love her Native American family, ultimately choosing to never leave them.
I had first read this book as a young girl in the 1970’s. I was struck by how much of the story stayed with me and seemed familiar as I re-read it a few weeks ago. It is at turns terrifying and interesting, all the more so since it is based on a true story. Lenski spent months doing meticulous research for this novel and it was a Newbery Honor book. I’d be curious how many current day adult readers had mixed feelings over the events portrayed in this novel – which occurs at the time of the French and Indian War.
Younger readers may find the text challenging and the story lengthy. I’d recommend it for grades 5 and up – and stronger grade 4 readers.
Thanks, Net Galley and Open Road for my copy!