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Adventure Calls!

May 28th, 2012 by Carrie Gleason

It’s 1876 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, newly settled by Europeans. Fourteen-year-old Jamie Bains and his younger sister Kate steal away at sunset to meet with their friend, a young Assiniboine named Black Eagle:

Black Eagle looked into the fire and then spoke slowly in halting English. "The Sioux have captured my mother, Spotted Bird, and hold her deep in Montana Territory. I will free her and bring her back to our people."

"What?" asked Jamie, more confused by what Black Eagle was proposing than uncertain of what he said.

Sioux Winter

So begins Sioux Winter, an amazing adventure story that takes three kids across the rugged northern plains of Canada and the United States at a turbulent time in aboriginal history — the way of the native peoples of the Great Plains is under threat with the decline of the buffalo and the arrival of European settlers. Native groups are losing their traditional lands and dealing with unsympathetic government troops sent to restore order ("order" would of course eventually lead to reservations.) Through the eyes of the child characters in this novel, award-winning author Bill Freeman crystallizes what life was like for both aboriginal and European settlers. But just as important as the information this historical novel imparts, is the appeal it holds for reluctant readers who crave big adventure in their stories.

This novel is part of Freeman's The Bains series, for which he won both a Vicky Metcalf Award and Governor General's Award. Bill Freeman's historical novels have been treasured by teachers (and their students) for use as novel studies in the classroom to coincide with the grades 6-8 social studies curriculum. Click here for a complete list of the award-winning historical novels in The Bains series.


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