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Book: The Wampum Exchange by Rosemary McKinley

Book Review: The Wampum Exchange by Rosemary McKinley

categories: Book, Historical, Children's Literature, Multicultural, Fiction, Wholesome, American History for Children


Rosemary McKinley

Author Rosemary McKinleyabout this book: This book will both entertain and teach children about life in 1650 America. Even though it is a book of fiction, the facts were well researched in local historical collections. Some primary sources were used. I wanted readers to come away with an understanding and appreciation of how different and difficult daily living was back then. Mostly everything people used they grew or made themselves, so unlike our modern world.

Let's go back in time to a land that was abundant with forests, game and fish on the East End of Long Island. English settlers learn how to farm maize and grow new kinds of vegetables from the Native Americans living there. Both communities have their own rules and culture that are held separate until Daniel encounters Ambusco and life changes for both in an interesting way. Throughout the story Daniel becomes more aware that he must take responsibility for his mistakes and actions in order to become part of the adult world.

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The Wampum Exchange

Rosemary McKinley

a comment by Rosemary McKinley

This children's novella gives us an intriguing look back at 1650 early America. Twelve- year-old Daniel has a chance meeting with a Native American boy from Fort Corchaug and their lives connect in an unusual way. Daniel wants to find a way to return Ambrusco's wampum and he spends most of the book trying to find a way to return what is not his.

Along the way, the reader glimpses into his life and learns how people of both worlds lived. In the end, Daniel learns responsibility and the importance of community in both of their worlds.

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Video: Rosemary McKinley "The Wampum Exchange," author talk at The East Hampton Library

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