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.
**** Disclaimer! The ISBN lists this book as a hardcover, but the book I'm posting is the paperback version. Same story, different format ****
Grade 4-7-Set in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania in 1763 and written in journal format, this book tells the story of Caty Logan, a Quaker girl who is upset by news of Indian raids on nearby farms. Although her father explains that these attacks are in retaliation for promises broken by the settlers and the English government, she is still frightened. While on their way to school several weeks later, Caty and her brother are captured by a group of Lenape. Although she fears that they will both be murdered, they are not harmed and are given to two members of the tribe who had lost children to measles, a disease brought by white traders. Through her friendship with Snow Hunter, a young man who had been captured nine years earlier, Caty gains an understanding of these people and their beliefs. She also begins to fall in love with him. Eventually, English soldiers rescue the girl and her brother. Caty's return to Quaker life is very difficult; she feels estranged from her mother and her old friends and yearns for Snow Hunter and her Indian family. Osborne successfully sustains readers' attention with a strong story line while informing them about American history. Through Caty's experiences, they will gain a clearer understanding of the Quaker religion and the beliefs of the Lenape. Complete with background information and illustrations depicting life during this era, this is a solid piece of historical fiction.
The year is 1763, Catharine Carey Logan lives with her Quaker family in Delaware Valley Pennsylvania alongside the Delaware Indians. This is her diary and it shows how fast things can change in an instance. She is captured along with her younger brother by some of the Lenape.
This is 100% the perspective of a 13-year-old mind. The lack of observation on the children's part as well as the quick to be in love part and wonder about who to marry was hard to stomach but this was a different era, this was expected of girls to be thinking and to dream about. Lots of stereotypes but it is good enough for two stars because like it or not parts of the book are a real look into life in the year 1763.
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.