As a teacher, Bruchac was my go-to author for middle grade and young adult books written about America's First Nations. His exceptional writing ability and prolific writing production, along with his own Abenaki ancestry, gave his books the quality and credibility that made me keep going back. His biographies of Sacajawea and Pocahontas are unique and inspiring. Code Talkers, about Navajo Marines using their language as a secret code during WWII, is iconic. And his horror stories based on Native American legend, such as Skeleton Man, glued my reluctant 5th grade readers’ bugged-out eyes to books. Peacemaker is based on the most important story in the oral tradition of the Iroquois Confederacy. Twelve-year-old Okwaho shows us how the vicious warfare between these nations ended because of one man's persuasive power. I’m drawn to both the tension and the simplicity of this book, and I'm thrilled to see writing about peace! Our constant need to focus on war has me so weary, and I’m just grateful to Joseph Bruchac for writing so well about a moment when peace happened despite long odds.— Tim McCarthy
A twelve-year-old Iroquois boy searches for peace in this historical novel based on the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Twelve-year-old Okwaho's life has suddenly changed. While he and his best friend are out hunting, his friend is kidnapped by men from a neighboring tribal nation, and Okwaho barely escapes. Everyone in his village fears more raids and killings: The Five Nations of the Iroquois have been at war with one another for far too long, and no one can remember what it was like to live in peace.
Okwaho is so angry that he wants to seek revenge for his friend, but before he can retaliate, a visitor with a message of peace comes to him in the woods. The Peacemaker shares his lesson tales—stories that make Okwaho believe that this man can convince the leaders of the five fighting nations to set down their weapons. So many others agree with him. Can all of them come together to form the Iroquois Great League of Peace?
About the Author
Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children’s book author, poet, novelist, and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. He is the coauthor of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series with Michael Caduto. Bruchac's poems, articles, and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Skeleton Man, and The Heart of a Chief.
Praise for Peacemaker
“The included stories allow Bruchac to share much about Iroquioan family life, culture, and worldviews, and should put to rest the numerous errors to be found in Longfellow’s poem, “The Song of Hiawatha.” Told with grace, this will be welcomed in history classes and those look for successful examples of nonviolent anti-bullying strategies.”—Booklist
“Bruchac brings a fresh point of view to this briskly told fictionalization of the Iroquois Confederacy’s beginnings.”—Publishers Weekly