The Light in the Forest

by Conrad Richter

Paperback, 1994



Local notes

PB Ric




Fawcett Juniper (1994), Edition: Reprint, 128 pages


As part of an agreement to keep peace, whites are insisting that captives who have been living with the Indians be returned to their white settlements. True True Son, fifteen years old, has lived with the Delaware tribe since being captured as a baby.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

128 p.; 4.2 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
This novel by Conrad Richter tells the story of a boy who was captured and raised by Indians and then must be returned to his white family due to a treaty. The boy has been with the Indians long enough that he has forgotten his white family and would rather stay with his Indian family. His adopted
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father, a warrior of honor, forces him to leave.

He is marched across the frontier and returned to his family who appear to have little sympathy for what this boy is going through. They just want him to be white and fit in, but don’t take the time to help him make this transition. Eventually he runs away and tries to return to the wilderness.

A interesting story of frontier life in Pennsylvania and of a boy that ultimately fits into neither world yet must try and find a place for himself. A rather sad story, but it certainly makes you think about how things haven’t really changed all that much, different is still unacceptable to many.
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LibraryThing member FranCaroll
True Son is a white child adapted by an Indian tribe when he was around 6 years old. Now he is fifteen, and a treaty has been signed toreturn all white "prisoners" to their biological home. True Son has become a Native American through and through. He despises the idea of leaving his family and
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tribe but must be marched off with the rest anyway because his father feels that this will be the only way they can keepthe whitemen from taking thier lands.
Through True Son's eyes we are astonished to see how the Native Americans viewed the white culture, and could not understand or tolerate their ways. This truely remarkable book is appealing to all ages, and can be read and re-read through out the years without growing old or trite.
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This book was well-written, and would have gotten a higher rating, except that it was so depressing. True Son is a white boy adopted by Native Americans at the age of four and taken back to his white family at fifteen. He despises all of them except for his little brother, and he hates their way of
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life. When he finally escapes, it seems that things should get better for him, but, in a complicated twist, new problems emerge.
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LibraryThing member Joanne45
In response to Brandon Warburtons review - which was quite comprehensive - I would like to add that there appears to me to be many contemporary parallels within this novel. The most obvious would be the divided family, fractured by divorce. Children growing up now often are forced to deal with
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divorce. Often the child is asked to abandon loyalty to one parent to earn the favor of the other parent. The having to choose sides forced on 'True Son' is most relevant.

I find Richter's ability to present the 'good' and the 'bad' of both the Indian culture and the white culture as most remarkable. This novel is a morsel that tempted me to read more of Richter. If one goes on to read other of Conrad Richter's historical novels, one can gain quite a new perspective on the history of our nation in light of the Indian/White conflicts.
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LibraryThing member TiffanyHickox
Wonderful book! it beautifully depicts the clash between two cultures and the heartbreaking consequences of two cultures that are unable to understand and respect their differences.
LibraryThing member AprilBrown
What ages would I recommend it too? Six and up.

Length? Most of a days read.

Characters? Memorable, several characters.

Setting? Real world early U.S.

Written approximately? 1953.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? Too many to share. What would have really happened to a young adult
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shunned by both worlds? The story actually begins in the last few pages.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Yes. Many stereotypes are represented. Are they true to the time, the character, or are they Hollywood?

Short storyline: A teen boy is forcibly removed from the only family he knows and forced to return to his birth family who have negative stereotypes of the family who raised him.

Notes for the reader: Could have been a good adventure. Too much missing. The only character the reader can relate to is the younger brother.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
I do think this might be a bit too reverent of the Lenni Lenape and other natives, but it was a necessary counterpoint to the all-too prevalent white supremacist viewpoint of the time. I was never required to read it, but I'm not surprised that many students are, as it does have a lot of
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discuss-able ideas, and a fair bit of engaging drama and characterization. A bad teacher will ruin it; the students of a good teacher will benefit greatly from sharing it, and those of us reading it on our own will not regret doing so.
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LibraryThing member Steve_Walker
Teachers should not assign classes to read certain titles. Better to set a goal of reading x number of titles every six weeks with a well written essay on what was read. Seeing the cover brings back memories I would rather leave buried in the past.
LibraryThing member kslade
A boy raised by Indians tries to fit in to white colony society.




(178 ratings; 3.4)
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