Author: Susan Cooper
The time has come for Little Hawk to undergo his people’s traditional ritual proving he has gone from boyhood to manhood–three grueling months alone in the forest, in the dead of winter, no less. When he returns successfully to the village, it is not to the celebration he rightfully deserves, but rather to a village decimated by a disease brought by the white traders. Time goes by, and the presence of the foreign colonists becomes more and more ubiquitous. One day, Little Hawk meets a very young white boy, the son of a trader, and the two form a friendship that will change their lives . . . and last beyond any logical expectations.
I love Susan Cooper’s writing, almost without exception. Ghost Hawk certainly was an illumination and engaging story, one that surprised me again and again. Part historical novel, part ghost story, it is completely a beautiful story of friendship . . . which makes the tragedy of it all the more poignant. I admit, I cried thoroughly by the end. Cooper chronicles the relations of the Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoag nation, and the early European settlers in a way I’ve never seen before–she reveals a story of pride, arrogance, and ignorance on both sides and the tragedy to which that led. I greatly appreciate her inclusion of the character John Wakeley (the boy Little Hawk befriends) as a bright and hopeful picture of what might be. It is a picture that reaches through the years and speaks to the pride, arrogance, and ignorance that blight us even today. Ghost Hawk is a timeless and beautiful story–definitely recommended.