I'm using Sonlight's book list for this year for history. Sophia is learning about the time period between the Civil War and the present day. There have been very few books that we haven't enjoyed as part of Sonlight's recommendations. The books are usually very engaging and educational.
Moccasin Trail is no exception: it is a fascinating book...albeit a challenging one to read aloud. I began reading it to Sophia and she took over half way. Despite reading a book that is written to sound like the characters are talking, she was able to read it well and understand it as she was reading it.
The story centers around Jim Keath who ran away from his family into the wilderness of the Oregon territory. He had a near-fatal battle with a grizzly, but was rescued by the Crow Indians. For the next six years, he lived with and learned the ways of the Crow Indians.
Jim learns that his two younger brothers and sister are journeying west to take up land. Although Jim finds it difficult to fit in with the family he hasn't seen since childhood, and though they are wary and distrustful of him, Jim feels it is his responsibility to help them.
Slowly, they survive the dangerous trek west and the kidnapping of their younger brother; and discover the difficulties of frontier life. Through all this they realize that they need to accept one another and reunite as a family.
Moccasin Trail is a Newbery Honor Book. (The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.")