As with all the "Dear America" books, this is set up as the diary of the main character, Catharine, or Caty as she is referred to by her father. This time, however, the diary takes a slightly different format partway through the story. It starts off describing Caty's life coming of age in a Quaker community in Pennsylvania. She is trying to come to terms with her shyness with a certain boy and how she has some feelings of vanity that go against her Quaker beliefs. However, early on in the story, she and her younger brother Thomas are captured by a group of Lenape Indians. From that point until somewhere in the middle of the story, the diary takes the form of pleas to her father, telling him about how she originally disdains her captors, but eventually comes to feel warmth towards them. A little past the midway point, the story then stops being pleas to her father & she starts writing the diary for herself again as she records how her previous ideas about her own life and the lives of the Native Americans are starting to change.
There were a few points in this story where it did start to drag a bit, but overall, it was quite good. I enjoyed watching Caty's transformation and I liked how throughout her journey she continued to feel conflicted. It certainly wasn't an "and they all lived happily ever after" type story. Rather, it felt more realistic as Caty was consistently conflicted, even by the end of the story.
Standing in the Light was a wonderful Dear America book, and one I could read over and over.
It tells, in diary form, about 13 year old Caty Logan who is growing up in her Quaker village in the 1760's. She is perfectly happy, with boys, learning housewifery, and schoolwork to keep her busy - but that all changes one day when she and her younger brother are captured by Lenape Indians.
At first Caty is desperate: she hates living with the rough Indians, who watch her diary writing curiously and force her to follow their Indian ways. But later, she learns that they are good people, though different than the Quakers, and she begins to make friends - and loved ones.
This was a great book! You really care about what will happen, if Caty will stay with them or return to her village. It is a great and interesting story!
Something strange happened to me today, Papa. Without warning, I began to say all my thoughts out loud. And many of them were most bitter. It happened when I was walking behind the hunter with the eagle painted on his cheeck...suddenly my wrath poured out like fire. I told him that I was not a savage like him and the others! I told him that...I despise everything about him and his people...
He did not turn back even once to look at me, nor to command me to be silent. Indeed, I began to wonder if he had heard me at all. Then I wondered if I had even spoken. Was I only thinking these venomous thoughts?
I fear I am going mad, Papa. Perhaps invisible too. Worst of all, my ink is nearly gone...now for certain, I will totally disappear.