Stone River Crossing

Tu Books. May 2019. 320p. Tr $20.95. ISBN 9781620148235.
Gr 5 Up–The Choctaw Nation lives on a reservation, deeded to them after they were forcefully relocated during the Trail of Tears. Just across the Bok Chitto River is a slave plantation. Everyone knows that crossing the river is dangerous. A young Choctaw girl wanders across the river while picking blackberries. A young enslaved boy helps her find her way back. Soon after, the enslaver threatens to sell the boy’s mother. The Choctaw community takes in the family to protect them and, in the process, they experience a two-way cultural exchange. The richness and the humor depicted in the Choctaw community are beautifully developed. The narrative details are based on oral histories from Choctaw people and families who developed an underground railroad, digging bunkers to hide enslaved people throughout Mississippi and Alabama.
VERDICT This is a well-researched and compelling work of historical fiction. Highly recommended for any middle grade 

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