The Secret of Marie Broussard
Susan Perks, formerly a teacher and librarian, is a travel agent in
Eileen Murphy has written an excellent fictional account of life in Acadia in the eighteenth century, from the point of view of fifteen-year-old Marie Broussard.
Fear and dislike of the Micmac Indians was quite evident, and when a proclamation came out offering a reward for every Indian scalp, Marie felt she had to do something. Through the use of flashbacks, Ms. Murphy skillfully describes how the Micmacs took care of Marie for several months after an accident, and how her father thought they had kidnapped her. Marie considers the Micmacs her friends and courageously sets out to warn them of the proclamation. Her mission is successful, and she is rewarded by them on her wedding day.
It takes some time to get used to the style of Ms. Murphy’s writing. Consider the length of this sentence:
He was glad of Paul, for despite the occasional teasing, the lad’s optimism and good nature, inherited from his father, would wear well, he mused — it would certainly be needed in the future when the monotonous winters came with their waist high snow and icicles the size of small logs hanging from the window. (p.2)
However, the strength of the story compensates for the long sentences and the rather liberal use of commas.
I would strongly recommend this book for grades 7 and up. It is historically accurate, and students can learn about everyday life in the 1700s.