Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle
A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom

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Synopsis

There is a river called Bok Chitto that cuts through Mississippi. In the days before the War Between the States, in the days before the Trail of Tears, Bok Chitto was a boundary. On one side of the river lived the Choctaws. On the other side lived the plantation owners and their slaves. If a slave escaped and made his way across Bok Chitto, the slave was free.

Thus begins Crossing Bok Chitto, told by award-winning Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle and brought to life with the rich illustrations of Jeanne Rorex Bridges.

Martha Tom, a young Choctaw girl, knows better than to cross Bok Chitto, but one day—in search of blackberries—she disobeys her mother and finds herself on the other side. A tall slave discovers Martha Tom. A friendship begins between Martha Tom and the slave’s family, most particularly his young son, Little Mo. Soon afterwards, Little Mo’s mother finds out that she is going to be sold. The situation seems hopeless, except that Martha Tom teaches Little Mo’s family how to walk on water to their freedom.

Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle blends songs, cedar flute, and drum with tribal lore to bring the lore of the Choctaw Nation to life in lively historical, personal, and traditional stories. His collection of stories Walking the Choctaw Road was selected as the Oklahoma Book of the Year.

Artist Jeanne Rorex Bridges traces her heritage back to her Cherokee ancestors. Crossing Bok Chitto is her first fully illustrated book.

 

About Tim Tingle

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Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle makes his living telling stories and teaching folklore at schools, universities and festivals nationally. The Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers selected Tim as "Contemporary Storyteller of the Year" for 2001. Tim Tingle lives in Canyon Lake, Texas, near San Antonio. Artist Jeanne Rorex Bridges traces her heritage back to her Cherokee ancestors. Born in Oklahoma, her work is nationally known and has won many awards in Native American art shows, including the 2005 Best of Show at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. Crossing Bok Chitto is her first fully illustrated book.
 
Published April 1, 2006 by Cinco Puntos Press. 40 pages
Genres: History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Crossing Bok Chitto

Publishers Weekly

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When a slave boy and his family are befriended by a Choctaw girl, the pathway becomes part of an ingenious plan that enables the slaves to cross the river to freedom—in plain view of a band of slave hunters during a full moon.

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