Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

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Annotation: Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.
Catalog Number: #108428
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 128 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-06289-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-90263-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-06289-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90263-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012029521
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When Company soldiers press-gang the poor, they capture Hari's father and assign him to the salt mines of Deep Salt. Hari follows, determined to save him even though no one ever returns from Deep Salt. At the same time, Pearl, from a prestigious Company family, flees her arranged marriage along with her mystical Dweller maid, Tealeaf. Hari and Pearl can both communicate telepathically, and they end up traveling together. Aided by Tealeaf and other Dwellers, Pearl and Hari discover the secret mined in Deep Salt: an irradiated substance that kills everything it touches. After Company falls and war breaks out over who will rule, they realize the ultimate significance of this dangerous substance. In spare yet vivid prose, Gee creates a world of oppressive caste systems and endless violence in which our heroes work to save people from their own dark nature. This is a suspenseful, somber fantasy that combines exciting action with a subtle spiritual element. This first in the series ends with Pearl and Hari founding a peaceful settlement, and readers will anticipate the dangers ahead.
Horn Book
Hari tries to rescue his father from the fatal Deep Salt mine. Pearl, fleeing an arranged marriage, escapes the city with her maid Tealeaf. The characters grow closer, discovering they share telepathic abilities and a vision for the future. Hari and Pearl are evolving, engaging heroes, and their many suspenseful adventures are conveyed in vivid, economical prose.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up In this dystopian fantasy, the people of the burrows are little more than slaves to Company. When his father is taken by the Whips and sent to work in Deep Salt, Hari vows to rescue him. He meets Pearl, the daughter of a Company official, who is fleeing an unwanted marriage, and Tealeaf, Pearl's teacher and companion. They are traveling to Tealeaf's village so that Pearl can develop her gift of mindspeaking. When Tealeaf discovers that Hari is able to speak with animals, she invites him to join them. Hari and Pearl soon discover that the substance being mined drains the workers and leaves them empty husksand that Company is attempting to form it into a weapon to take over the world. Salt succeeds in being not only plot driven and fast paced, but also character oriented. Readers will appreciate the growing friendship between dark-skinned, aggressive Hari and lily-white, pampered Pearl as they discover that they are not as dissimilar as they believed. Gee presents a well-realized future New Zealand, and even those unfamiliar with the landscape will be able to picture the cities, forests, and coasts. A map allows readers to follow the path of the three adventurers, and the spare language makes this first novel in a trilogy accessible to reluctant readers. The dominant themes of prejudice and governmental oppression are subtly presented and do not overpower the action-filled plot. Salt will delight lovers of dystopic fantasies and leave them anxious for the second installment. Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Frost explores the wide-ranging impact of wartime aggression through the intimate lens of two 12-year-old boys caught in the crossfire of the War of 1812. Anikwa, a member of the Miami tribe hailing from Kekionga, often spends his days hunting and playing in the forest with James Gray, whose home is in the stockade near Fort Wayne. For centuries, Anikwa's ancestors have lived in this area, and James' family has enjoyed amicable relations with the Miami and other Native Americans with whom they exchange goods. While these differing communities have learned from and helped support each other through adverse conditions, British and American claims to the Indiana Territory near Fort Wayne force them to re-examine their relationship. As other tribes and thousands of American soldiers gather to fight to establish the border between Canada and the United States, Anikwa's grandmother laments, "We can't stop things from changing. I hope / the children will remember how our life has been," foreshadowing how the boys' friendship, which has always been able to bridge cultural and language gaps, will face unprecedented challenges. Frost deftly tells the tale through each boy's voice, employing distinct verse patterns to distinguish them yet imbuing both characters with the same degree of openness and introspection needed to tackle the hard issues of ethnocentrism and unbridled violence. Sensitive and smart: a poetic vista for historical insight as well as cultural awareness. (Verse novel. 10-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Set during the War of 1812, near the present-day city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Salt is the story of the friendship between Anikwa, a Miami Indian boy, and James, the son of a trader. As both British and American armies advance on the area, other Native American peoples arrive hoping to fight with the British against the Americans. The plan fails, and Anikwa's peaceful people must flee. Will they have to abandon their traditional home, and will the friendship between the boys be sundered? Printz Honor Book author Frost (Keesha's House, 2003) has written, with artful economy, another affecting novel in verse. Interspersed among selections narrated in the alternating voices of the two boys are poems about the salt that is necessary to the survival of both peoples. Frost explains that the form of Anikwa's verses, rich in Miami words, evokes the diamond and triangle shapes of Miami ribbon work, while James' more linear form suggests the stripes of the American flag. While acknowledging the uncertainties, misunderstandings, and occasional animosities of war, Frost also celebrates the relationship of both the Miami people and the Americans with the land and with each other. Explanatory notes and a glossary of Miami words are appended to this lovely evocation of a frontier America and the timelessness of friendship.
Word Count: 19,862
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 162844 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q61717
Lexile: NP
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y
Dang mosquito bit me right where I can’t reach it.
I rub my back against a hickory tree—up and down,

side to side. There—almost got it. Might look silly,
but nobody’s watching. Except a squirrel—I hear it
up there in the branches, and I get out my slingshot.
Ma will be happy when I bring home something
for the soup pot. Where is that old squirrel, anyhow?
Sounds like a whole family of ’em, laughing at me,

and I can’t see even one. What? Not again! It’s
Anikwa, laughing as he jumps down from the tree

and lands beside me. How long has he been watching?
I swear he can sound like anything! Squirrel, bumblebee,
bluebird, or bullfrog. Once, I heard my baby sister crying,
but when I turned to look—it wasn’t Molly, it was him!


James looks
up in the tree like he thinks
there’s a real squirrel hiding somewhere
in its branches. I suck in my cheeks
to make myself stop laughing—
he shakes his head,
puts away
his stone and slingshot,
gives me a smile that means I got him
this time, but next time he’ll be watching if I
try that trick again. Come on, he motions as he heads
to the berry bushes. I’ve seen him out here picking berries
every afternoon since they started to get ripe.
Makiinkweeminiiki, I say, pretending to
put berries in my mouth and
pointing down the trail
toward the bushes.
He nods his head.
Yes, he says,
blackberries. As we walk
to the berry patch, he tries my word—
makiinkweeminiiki, and I try his—blackberries.
I roll both words around like berries
in my mouth.

Copyright © 2013 by Helen Frost

Excerpted from Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War by Helen Frost
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Anikwa and James, twelve years old in 1812, spend their days fishing, trapping, and exploring together in the forests of the Indiana Territory. To Anikwa and his family, members of the Miami tribe, this land has been home for centuries. As traders, James's family has ties to the Miami community as well as to the American soldiers in the fort. Now tensions are rising--the British and American armies prepare to meet at Fort Wayne for a crucial battle, and Native Americans from surrounding tribes gather in Kekionga to protect their homeland. After trading stops and precious commodities, like salt, are withheld, the fort comes under siege, and war ravages the land. James and Anikwa, like everyone around them, must decide where their deepest loyalties lie. Can their families--and their friendship--survive? In Salt, Printz Honor author Helen Frost offers a compelling look at a difficult time in history. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013 A Frances Foster Book

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