Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom

 

In a picture book that highlights rarely discussed intersections between Native Americans in the South and African Americans in bondage, a noted Choctaw storyteller and Cherokee artist join forces with stirring results. Set “in the days before the War Between the States, in the days before the Trail of Tears,” and told in the lulling rhythms of oral history, Crossing Bok Chitto opens with a Mississippi Choctaw girl who strays across the Bok Chitto River into the world of Southern plantations, where she befriends a boy who is enslaved and his family.

When trouble comes, the desperate runaways flee to freedom, helped by their own fierce desire (which renders them invisible to their pursuers) and by the Choctaws’ secret route across the river. In her first paintings for a picture book, Bridges conveys the humanity and resilience of both peoples in forceful acrylics, frequently centering on dignified figures standing erect before moody landscapes. [Description from Booklist review.]

Credit: By Tim Tingle. Published by Cinco Puntos PressApril 2008.


Location: Mississippi
Type: Book Fiction
Grade Level: 2-4
Time Period: 1865-1899