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The Ransom of Mercy Carter

by Caroline B. Cooney

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361771,735 (3.85)19
In 1704, in the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts, eleven-year-old Mercy and her family and neighbors are captured by Mohawk Indians and their French allies, and forced to march through bitter cold to French Canada, where some adapt to new lives and some still hope to be ransomed.
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Great account of massive Indian raid on the settlers at Deerfield Massachusetts in 1704 and how it affected their lives, especially through the eyes of Mercy Carter, who was 11. Worthwhile. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
I feel like I need to learn more about this particular subject in history to adequately rate this book, but for now 3 stars because it was interesting and engrossing. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
"The Ransom of Mercy Carter" is a historical fiction novel based on a real event from 1704 Massachusetts. After their village is burned and many of its residents killed, Mercy and more than 100 other settlers are taken prisoner by the Kahnawake Mohawk. After a the difficult winter trek that takes them north to Canada, Mercy settles into life in a traditional Indian village. After so much exposure, Mercy struggles to balance loyalty to her own family and traditions with a growing appreciation for the Kahnawake way of life.

"The Ransom of Mercy Carter" is a novel that I would use as a lively supplement to a history lesson about Native Americans and their interactions with the colonials. This is a real page turner that middle schoolers would enjoy reading. This book is very well written and also can be used as an example to show plot, sequencing, and voice while writing. Personally I see this novel as a way of revealing that we cannot really know a culture until we have been immersed into it. ( )
  GloriaSidney | Mar 16, 2019 |
The Ransom of Mercy Carter by Caroline B. Cooney is a YA historical fiction novel based on a real event from 1704 Massachusetts. On a bitterly cold February night the French along with their Indian allies attacked Deerfield, Massachusetts. Over 100 captives were taken and began the long march of over 300 miles north to Canada. Most of the captives were children, and many were killed along the way because they were unable to keep up with the ordeal of this forced march.

Among the captives was Mercy Carter, a young girl of eleven and the story is told through her eyes. At first in shock, then stoic in the face of adversity, always quick to offer aid to the others, Mercy becomes both noticed and admired by the Indians and, to honor her, she is one of the first of the children to be given an Indian name. When they reach Canada, the hostages are split apart from each other and distributed among various Indian families and villages. Some of the captives are taken into Montreal and find themselves among the French. Mercy is kept in a Indian village across the St. Lawrence from Montreal. As they wait for ransom to arrive, it is hard, especially for the younger children not to fall completely into Indian ways.

This book examines how Mercy is torn between her emotions, her religion and her race. These were harsh times and both French and Indian families were looking for children to replace ones that did not survive. The story explores how this suddenly sympathetic treatment and pampering causes many of the children to not just forget their English background, but for them to actually turn their back on the idea of going home to be reunited with their original family.

The author stays neutral in her opinions and allows the story to show how complex these ties to both family and identity were for these captives. Mercy is well drawn and although this is a story aimed at 11 to 13 years olds, as an adult, I found it a very engaging and a well researched read. I particularly appreciated that the author included a final summary letting us know which of the captives decided to stay in Canada and which ones returned to the English Colonies. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Feb 11, 2014 |
SAddd But Awesome For 6-8 Grade ( )
  lilah0113 | Sep 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caroline B. Cooneyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Natale, VinceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In 1704, in the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts, eleven-year-old Mercy and her family and neighbors are captured by Mohawk Indians and their French allies, and forced to march through bitter cold to French Canada, where some adapt to new lives and some still hope to be ransomed.

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