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Time of the Eagle: A Story of an Ojibwe Winter    by Stephanie Golightly Lowden order for
Time of the Eagle
by Stephanie Golightly Lowden
Order:  USA  Can
Blue Horse Books, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Traders' disease has killed her father and now Autumn's mother is ill. She orders thirteen-year-old Autumn Dawn to take her little brother, Coyote Boy, and go to her aunt's lodge. Her mother knows that if she doesn't send her children away, they won't survive.

Autumn Dawn takes six-year-old Coyote Boy and leaves, knowing that her mother will soon join her father in the Spirit World. She has only her knife and a small amount of rice and tobacco in her medicine bag, but she should reach her aunt's village by nightfall.

As they travel to her aunt's lodge, Autumn Dawn sees an Eagle and is sure he has come to guide her. When they arrive at her aunt's lodge, no one greets them. The disease was there before them, leaving no survivors. Autumn Dawn doesn't know where to go, but it is no more safe to stop at her aunt's lodge than stay at her own. Winter is coming and Autumn Dawn must keep them both alive until she finds a safe village.

The Traders' Disease referred to in the novel is smallpox. In the 1700s, the European fur traders brought it and many other diseases to the Indians, who had no immunity - causing entire villages to die. Lowden bases her novel on the true story of a young Ojibwe girl who survived smallpox and heroically spent the winter alone as she searched for other Ojibwe people.

Lowden includes a helpful author's note, a glossary, and a list of additional resources. Time of the Eagle is endorsed by the intertribal Council for Indian Education. The Council recommends the book as being good material for use in schools.

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