The Light in the Forest

The Light in the Forest When John Cameron Butler was a four year old child he was captured in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga and renamed True Son comes to think of himself as full

  • Title: The Light in the Forest
  • Author: Conrad Richter
  • ISBN: 9780449704370
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Paperback
  • When John Cameron Butler was a four year old child, he was captured in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga, and renamed, True Son comes to think of himself as fully Indian But eleven years later his tribe, the Lenni Lenape, sign a treaty with the white men and agree to return their captives, including fifteen year old True Son Now TrWhen John Cameron Butler was a four year old child, he was captured in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga, and renamed, True Son comes to think of himself as fully Indian But eleven years later his tribe, the Lenni Lenape, sign a treaty with the white men and agree to return their captives, including fifteen year old True Son Now True Son must go back to the family he has forgotten, whose language is no longer his, and whose dress and behavior are as strange to him as the ways of the forest are to them A beautifully written, sensitively told story of a white boy brought up by Indians, The Light in the Forest is a beloved American classic.

    One thought on “The Light in the Forest”

    1. Yes, folks, it's yet another book, probably not actually so dreadful on its own merits, that's been ruined by overzealous junior high school English teachers. We not only had to read this in seventh or eighth grade, but for some obscure reason, the powers that be forced us to watch a filmstrip of the movie, which I think was a feature made for that series The Wonderful World of Disney or whatever the hell it was called, starring James MacArthur (yep, that's Danno of "Hawaii Five-0" Fame) playing [...]

    2. This very short novel is read in junior high English classes, deservedly, because the novel is engaging, but also full of issues that kids understand: alienation, moral dilemma-choices, family issues. The plot revolves a colonial boy kidnapped, then raised, by native Americans who, because of treaty obligations, must return to his real family, but who feels only tied to his native American family and culture. Excellent book.

    3. Pennsylvania native Richter was well-known as a serious writer of historical fiction set on the Pennsylvania and Ohio frontier (one of his other novels won a Pulitzer Prize). This is one of his "minor" works, and is certainly short enough to be a fairly quick read; but nonetheless, it doesn't lack for emotional intensity or for complexity of thought content. It has a lot in common with Schuman's much longer Strife Before Dawn, the book I reviewed previously: the two novels share a setting, and t [...]

    4. I've read a number of reviews which seem to feel having been assigned to read this book in eighth grade somehow makes it a poisoned pill of sorts. I don't agree that if some book is required homework means the subject assigned must be crappy moralistic stuff grownups are yet again shoving down juvenile throats in a painful forced feeding. When teachers teach anti-bullying messages that we should all be kind to our classmates and stop bullying, do not most of us think, "forced" lesson or not, tha [...]

    5. My goal is to read and re-read some classics. This is for young readers, but a great story of a child who was captured by Indians in araid on his Pennsylvania settlement. He lives with the Indians untilhe is forced back to his home when he is sixteen. It's not an easyadjustment. The story is about a boy who is caught between two culturesand is not at home in either. That proves true after he escapes back tothe Indians. He had an interesting view of the white man: "They areyoung and heedless like [...]

    6. The Light in the Forest is a short book written in 1953 by Pulitzer Award winning author Conrad Richter. The book tells the story of a 15 year old boy who grew up among the Lenni Lenape Indians. True Son or Johnny was captured when he was only four years old and had been adopted by an Indian family to replace a child who had died. The story begins with a recounting of the 1764 campaign by British Army officer Henry Bouquet to gather white captives from among the Indians and return them to their [...]

    7. The main reason I picked up this book is because I very much enjoy stories about Native American/white relations in the colonial days, particular captive ones. Come to think of it, though, I've really only read one novel I thought did a decent job of portraying these circumstances. This one did not.The main premise of this book is that a young man who was captured and adopted into a Native American tribe (the Lenape, I believe) has to be returned to his white family. This was a pretty common occ [...]

    8. My Book Review by: Marco MenjivarGenre: The Genre of The Light in the Forest is adventure because True Son (a character in this book) goes through some challenges throughout his life.Short Summary about this book: True Son is supposed to be with the white people but Cuyloga, an Indian, found him and took his white blood and filled it with Indian blood, now he thinks he's Indian but he tries to figure out what he is throughout this book.The Compelling Literary Element is the Characters because th [...]

    9. This book is an outstanding adventure of a young white boy who grows up with a Native American tribe in what is now Delaware. The boy becomes very fond of the Native Americans and thinks the Indians who he grew up with are his real family. He thinks this until his white family comes to retrieve him. He has many troubles living with his white family. I can relate to this because when I was a junior in high school I moved to Wisconsin from Virginia. This is close to the situation as the boy in the [...]

    10. This was one of the books that I had to read for school that I really liked! At some points I was really bored and confused, but I loved the story. It was enriching, thoughtful, true, and impressing.

    11. Lots of interesting insight and a powerful historical message, albeit a sad and pessimistic one. This is one of those books that all Americans should read.

    12. The Light in the Forest helped me understand this time period better by showing me the distrustful relationship between the white men and the Indians. For example, in a conversation between True Son's white father and his uncle, Uncle Wilse said "You can make an Indian out of a white man, but you can never make a white man out of an Indian." "Johnny is no Indian" the boy's father said uneasily. "He has the same blood as you and I." And his uncle's response "Look at him now, standing there cold-b [...]

    13. Well this book is just a great read for anyone looking for an adventure tale dating back to the indian wars in America. This story is a story about a young white boy who was captured by the Lenni Lenape indians. These are for the most part a kind indian tribe but if you do something to offend them they wont hesitate to fight back. When i say fight back i mean they will completely burn your house to the ground and scalp you. The story is about this boy and how the military makes a treaty saying t [...]

    14. For my lit circle group I read a book called: The light in the forest. It is about a white boy who thinks he’s an Indian. He is trained to hate the white men even though he has their blood in him. I think the best genre of the book is historical fiction. I think this because most of this didn’t happen for real. I think the best compelling literary element for this book is the characters. I think this because the book has a cast of characters and they all have something that makes them specia [...]

    15. 'True Son' is a white boy lovingly raised by Native Americans whom is forced by the 'white man' to return to his original white mother and father. True Son, called 'Johnny' by the whites, longs only to return to the free life he lived in the forest. He escapes but soon learns that he walks a fine and dangerous line between the whites and the Natives. If the whites see him as too savage and the Natives see him as too 'white', then where does he belong?I've been waiting a long time to read this. I [...]

    16. This is about life on the American frontier - about a young white boy captured and raised by Indians till he was 15 years old. Then, by decree of a government treaty with the Indians which called for white captives to be returned to their homes, in return for the Indians' land, the boy was given up by the only family he ever remembered. The switch was, not surprisingly, a failure the boy thought of himself as Indian, his whole view of life and the world was through native American eyes and heart [...]

    17. I was so touched by the plight of the white boy, Johnny Butler who was four years old when his Lenni Lenape "father," Cuyloga, spoke the words that changed his white blood to Indian blood. Eleven years later, through a treaty, the boy is taken back to his "real" parents and his "true" home by the white soldiers. "True Son" is full of anger and longing for his Indian family, but when he does return to the Indian life and people he loves, things for him have changed. The native dilemma of both the [...]

    18. I picked this short novel up from the "classic bookshelf" at the library book store because I had enjoyed Conrad Richter's books previously. It turns out that this book has often been required reading at some level of English lit education. I found the book delightful, moving, sensitive and that it threw another light on pioneer-Indian relations. I have read several books on this subject including "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and I found this book more enlightening. The story tells me that bo [...]

    19. Great book! The story was a fantastic find at the library and I checked it out on a whim. It is a story about the awkward clash between the Native American cultures and the white/Euro cultures. A young boy is taken from a white family as effort to replace a lost family member. The youngster is raised as a Native and grows up loving his life and his Native family. However, as was done in those times, the white people went on rampages against Natives to steal back white people to place them with t [...]

    20. I read this book a long time ago because school demanded it. It is one of the only assigned books I was given that I truly enjoyed.It's the story of a white settler brought up by Native Americans only to be traded back to his 'family' in a peace agreement. The boy is forced into 'civilized' life, but longs to be one with his tribe again. It is a story about finding out who you are not based on the color of your skin, but by the quality of your being.I'd advise this for anyone really, though ther [...]

    21. I remember reading this book when I was in the 5th grade or so. I really enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed it this weekend. Setting is American Colonies in the mid-1700's - a child is taken hostage in an Indian raid (I struggled over how to phrase this, and since they called the natives "Indians", and Conrad Richter referred to them as "Indians", I will do the same). The child is adopted, raised in a village in the forest for over ten years, then when he is 15 years old, he is given back to his bir [...]

    22. This was an interesting story about a young white boy kidnapped and adopted by Indians who was returned to his white family 10 years later as a result of a treaty. The story is told from the perspective of the young boy who has a great deal of trouble adjusting and switching his loyalties.While not a great book, this story held my interest and made me think about a number of different topics including the role of nature vs nurture, distrust and misunderstandings between different types of people [...]

    23. I read this book several times as a child and it had a profound effect on me. I stopped using a pillow, tried to walk silently in the woods, fell in love with some aspects of Indian life. I just reread it as an adult. I still liked it. But I saw it in a very different light. A boy who has been kidnapped by the Indians is forcibly returned to his white parents after a long stay with the Indians. He hates it there with his white family and feels trapped. The only positive feature is his little bro [...]

    24. I read this because I could not lay my hands on any of the volumes in Conrad Richter's The Awakening Land trilogy, which I remembered fondly. This lesser novel seems adolescent (which was intentional, presumably, it's basically early YA lit) but also dated and clunky. I loved it as a teenager for its imaginative telling of every young person's fantasy of running off to live in the woods with Indians. As an adult I just question Richter's qualifications to tell that story and the verisimilitude o [...]

    25. First published in 1953 and found in the classics section of the library, this is a good historical novel about an American child who was stolen by American Indians at the age of 4 and adopted by an Indian family. When treaties were being forged between the American government and the Indians, part of the treaty demanded that all white "prisoners" be returned to their families. This was as devastating to the Indian families that had been formed as it had been to the white families when their lov [...]

    26. This was the only book that I read for English 11 Honors summer reading that I actually enjoyed, and I've talked to a few others in my class, and they have all said that it's also their favorite out of all of the books. I love learning about history, and one of my favorite time periods is the 1600's through 1800's. I also really love learning about Native American cultures. I thought this book did a wonderful job showing both the Native American's and the white's perspectives and reasoning behin [...]

    27. Conrad Richter writes about the tragedies of pioneer life in a simple, clear style. His life history and research enables him to carefully describe scene settings and recapture the atmosphere of the period. I finished the book with a stronger sense of history, the Indian culture, and the sources of confilct between them and the pioneers. I was in the forest with the main character. This is a beautifully written little book.

    28. John is a young white boy who was captured and raised by the Indians when he was four years old. This is his story of the problems, frustrations, and disappointments that he must grapple with when he is returned to the Whites. This novel shows the compassionate side of the Indian instead of the stereotypical picture.(I read this novel in the 70s when I was taking an adolescent lit. class. The critique came from one I did for the class.)

    29. Considering this book was written in the 50's when the government was still doing the enforced boarding school thing and their big relocation project to "civilize" native people, this book was surprisingly fair. I really expected it to be very bigoted, but it treated both sides honestly and fairly. I also felt that it handled very well the serious conflict of being part of two societies and thus truly belonging to neither. Emotionally, this was a difficult book to read.

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