Soft Rain

by Cornelia Cornelissen

In May, 1838, countless Tsalagi people were forced by agents of the U.S. government... read more

In May, 1838, countless Tsalagi people were forced by agents of the U.S. government to leave their land in what is now known as North Carolina and three other Southern states. Men, women and children of all ages and health situations were forced to be relocated to lands set apart for them in the West in what the U.S. government officially called the Cherokee Removal. The journey lasted many months, including a severe winter season. That tragic history unfolds here in a third-person narrative. A plucky nine-year-old girl, Soft Rain, is the main character. She reads and writes English, as well as the language created by Sequoyah and written on talking leaves. Other memorable characters also earmark this historical novel, including Soft Rain's younger brother Hawk Boy, and their parents, grandmother, and courageous Aunt Kee. The author incorporated much dialogue along with cultural details into her story, making her novel fairly easy for young children to read, despite the harsh history she recounts fictionally. The endnote about the Cherokee Nation provides a factual context for the novel. Cornelissen's great-grandfather was about ten when he endured the Trail of Tears. (Ages 9-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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