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22 February, 2008
Book Review: Rusty Son of Tall Elk by Charles H. Bertram
Reviewed for Armchair Interviews
When ten-year old Russsell “Rusty” Weaver set off on a logging trip with his uncle Evan, and his two older brothers, the last thing on his mind was Indians. His job for the two week trip to float the log rafts down to St. Louis was to scout ahead, find good landing spots, and start dinner each evening. But when river rats steal the boat, Rusty ends up attracting the attentions of a group of Cheyenne Indians that are headed back West after buying guns.
Rusty, is taken back with the Cheyenne. He finds himself adopted into the family of Chief Tall Elk. The chief, father to a red haired daughter of mixed ancestry, believes that to have two red haired children will bring good luck to his family and tribe. Rusty, finds himself hundreds of miles from home, in a new “home” where he doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know the customs, and where everything seems to be new and unusual.
Rusty Son of Tall Elk transports readers back to a time when much of the United States was still unexplored. The story explores the differences between the lives of the settlers, and the Native American tribes that were still fighting for the survival of their culture in the threat posed by Westward expansion of the United States. Rusty is faced with hard decisions for a child to make. Can he find a home with these Cheyenne? Is there a way for him to enjoy the freedoms and responsibilities that his new life is allowing him to experience? Will his family back in Illinois ever find out the truth of his disappearance, or will they believe he is dead? I found Rusty Son of Tall Elk a great start to an encompassing story. This is the first in a four book series, and I look forwards to reading more in the continuing adventures of Rusty.
Publication Date: April 2008
Publisher: Nartea Publishing
Author's Web Site: http://www.charleshbertram.com