Caleb's Crossing By Geraldine Brooks Bethia is a 12 year old girl living on an island, known today as Martha's Vineyard. It is the mid 1600's. (Think Scarlett Letter!) Her father is a minister and her grandfather the founder of this small enclave they call Great Harbour. Bethia is educated solely by listening to her brothers lessons because at this time females were thought not necessary to be educated as to anything but bible. Bethia is a quick learner in greek, latin, hebrew, reading and writing. She is also a lover of nature and one day while exploring the island she befriends a Native American Indian that she names Caleb. She begins to teach Caleb all that she has learned and he teaches her the native ways of the island. Their secret friendship remains for years until one day things change on the island and Caleb is brought to come and live with the settlers. He too is a brilliant learner and makes his way to Harvard College as the very first Native American to graduate (true!). This story is about friendship, loyalty, learning and love. Historical fiction is amazing, it is a great way to enjoy learning about a time period while immersed in a story that is both tragically real and fictionalized. At first the reader must get used to a rather difficult prose but it quickly becomes clear as to the direction of the story. These loveable characters leave the reader wanting more! Highly recommend this most unique story.
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