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This book is a gift. It's hard to not see our own conflict-laden times reflected back at us in this stunningly powerful tale of the founding of Iroquois Confederacy (or Haudenosaunee), and it's easy to see a way forward in Bruchac's concise lyricism and fully-dimensional characters—a way that rejects anger and violence and embraces storytelling, listening, and remembering. Okwaho's transformation, reflecting that of the Five Nations (now Six), beautifully distills the heroic story into a individual path toward peace.
— Hannah DeCamp
A twelve-year-old Iroquois boy searches for peace in this historical novel based on the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Twelve-year-old Okwaho's life has suddenly changed. While he and his best friend are out hunting, his friend is kidnapped by men from a neighboring tribal nation, and Okwaho barely escapes. Everyone in his village fears more raids and killings: The Five Nations of the Iroquois have been at war with one another for far too long, and no one can remember what it was like to live in peace.
Okwaho is so angry that he wants to seek revenge for his friend, but before he can retaliate, a visitor with a message of peace comes to him in the woods. The Peacemaker shares his lesson tales—stories that make Okwaho believe that this man can convince the leaders of the five fighting nations to set down their weapons. So many others agree with him. Can all of them come together to form the Iroquois Great League of Peace?
About the Author
Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children’s book author, poet, novelist, and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. He is the coauthor of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series with Michael Caduto. Bruchac's poems, articles, and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Skeleton Man, and The Heart of a Chief.
Praise for Peacemaker
“The included stories allow Bruchac to share much about Iroquioan family life, culture, and worldviews, and should put to rest the numerous errors to be found in Longfellow’s poem, “The Song of Hiawatha.” Told with grace, this will be welcomed in history classes and those look for successful examples of nonviolent anti-bullying strategies.”—Booklist
“Bruchac brings a fresh point of view to this briskly told fictionalization of the Iroquois Confederacy’s beginnings.”—Publishers Weekly