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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 28, 2001 - Issue 41


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Book Review: The Hollyhocks Trail


 Editor's Note: Summertime is reading time. I recently had the pleasure of reading three books by Dr. Bruce Stapleton. In the next few issues, I will share a review with you. The second, is The Hollyhocks Trail.

The Hollyhocks Trail is the story of two racially-mixed children uprooted and separated during the Indian removals of 1838. It is based in part on the true story of a part-Cherokee, part-African American girl adopted by an abolitionist Illinois farmer on the Trail of Tears. It is also a story of spiritual redemption and reconciliation, with insights into Cherokee culture and history.

Despite their efforts to assimilate white culture-adopting a constitution based on that of the U.S., learning English while inventing their own syllabary, and developing an agriculture-based economy-in the end, all that mattered was the government's determination to confiscate Cherokee lands.

Josh and Nelley grew up together in what now is northern Georgia, sharing a bond solidified by their love of nature and their common foe-racial intolerance. Separated as children during the Indian removal of 1838, the book traces their tragic experiences on the "Trail of Tears" and their disjoined lives up to the end of the Civil War.

Embittered by the white man's greed and betrayals among the Cherokee, and ultimately disowned by his family, Josh seeks out the only friend that he may have left-a friend he hasn't seen in 27 years. In doing so, he discovers that she's more than a friend.

A review in "News from Indian Country" said Hollyhocks "combines meticulous historical facts and intricate detail into a lively novella...
The Hollyhocks Trail will educate, motivate and entertain and is a worthwhile addition to libraries, homes and schools." You will gain historical insights in reading The Hollyhocks Trail. You will be saddened and indignant at man's capacity for evil. But you will also be moved by this gripping story.

ISBN 0-595-12458-5

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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