Title: Indian Captive
Author: Lois Lenski
Major Themes: French and Indian War, Frontier Life, Indians, Pioneer Life
Synopsis: After Molly Jemison was taken captive by the Indians, she learned to love her new Indian family.
I first read Indian Captive when I had a bookstore. I remember placing an order with one of my suppliers, and asked what new titles they had that I might be interested in. Indian Captive, by Lois Lenski, was one of their new books. I had read a few of Lenski’s books at that time, so decided to try it. It turned out to be a keeper. Now, I’ve finally read it to my children, and they loved it.
Indian Captive is the true story of Molly Jemison, the daughter of settlers in eastern Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1758, she and her family were taken captive by the Indians. After she was separated from the rest of her family, Molly was taken to western New York and adopted into the Seneca tribe. During the next two years, she learned the life of the Indians and learned to love them; after she heard that her family were all dead she realized that her only home was with the Indians. What would she decide later, when a British officer came to set her free?
This is a very sympathetic look into the lives of the Iroquois at the time of the French and Indian War, through the eyes of one of the many white captives who chose to stay with their Indian captors rather than return to live with their own people. It is also a very engaging story of a young girl who learns a lot in a short time.
WARNING: Chapter 7 depicts the Indians worshipping their gods and begging them for rain. One of my sons commented that he didn’t like the way that was portrayed, as if worshipping their gods was fine.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15