Heather Down has had numerous short stories and articles published in such magazines as Canadian Owl Family, Guide, and Canadian Living. With Wintertickle Press she has published a number of books, including The Reluctant Drama Teacher series and 1 Terrific Music Projects for Intermediate Students. For 15 years Down was an award-winning schoolteacher. She lives in Barrie, Ontario.
A Deadly Distance
"Startled, Mishbee gasped, frozen with horror. She was staring down the barrel of a musket and was familiar with the sound those weapons made. The young girl knew muskets meant death."
At the beginning of the nineteenth century in Newfoundland, the Beothuks, a First Nations people, have been decimated by disease, and their numbers dwindle further as they are hunted and persecuted relentlessly by European settlers. Young Mishbee, her older sister Oobata, and Oobata’s baby struggle courageously on Exploits Island against tuberculosis, misunderstanding, and prejudice. Mishbee tries to maintain the traditions of her people as she slowly befriends a young settler named John and attempts to bridge the deadly gulf between their two cultures. But has the friendship blossomed too late? Will Mishbee and John be able to show the settlers that the Beothuks arent a threat before they disappear completely?
If you like historical fiction books then this would be a quick good book for you. I would usually walk past this kind of book, but then I started reading it and fell in love with it by the second chapter.
The vocabulary is suitable and appropriate for the intended audience, and the dialogue is realistic. Historical notes, a glossary and selected reading are also included for those readers interested in knowing more about the time period.
This book would be an excellent class novel for individual reading or as a read aloud choice. It would also be good supplemental reading to go along with the Social Studies curriculum. It would be an excellent addition for personal, class, school and public libraries.