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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Laurie's Pick: "The Taking of Jemima Boone" by Matthew Pearl

Growing up in Missouri, I had often heard tales of Daniel Boone as a hero and great frontiersman. “The Taking of Jemima Boone'' retells an incident involving his thirteen-year-old daughter, Jemima. She and her friends disappeared near their settlement of Boonesboro, Kentucky in the summer of 1776. The girls were abducted by a Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party who recognized Jemima as Daniel’s daughter. Soon Boone and his posse were following a trail of clues deliberately left by the girls. This book reaffirms the notion that Daniel Boone was a great leader and naturalist, while also painting a graphic picture of what life was really like on the American frontier shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Matthew Pearl does an excellent job of taking one event in history and weaving it into a snapshot of life in America in 1776. The females in this story are not portrayed as weak. They were instrumental in their own rescue. However, the settlers seemed completely tone-deaf to the threat the American Indians perceived as they encroached on their land and way of life. This one small event had repercussions that possibly changed history. I think this book will appeal to any American history buff by depicting a vivid picture of life during and after the Revolutionary War.

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