SCRANTON, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Jim Remsen’s YA historical novel Visions of Teaoga, about an adolescent girl who stumbles upon local Native American history.
About the Book:
The year is 1790 and Queen Esther, a notorious American Indian matriarch, travels under cover to observe a U.S.-Iroquois summit at the ancient Teaoga treaty grounds. Will she be able to pass on her wisdom – and warnings – to the Indian villagers before the hostile settlers discover her in their midst? Will troubled native girl Sisketung awaken to Esther’s truths and see how wrong-headed the brash settler girl Sarah was?
Moving two centuries forward, restless tweener Maddy Winter also visits Teaoga, now a quiet riverfront town on the Pennsylvania-New York border. She tunes in to the region’s dramatic lost history and soon encounters spirits in the wind. As she gains in wisdom, Maddy longs to take on Esther’s mantle of the “peace woman,” but will she find the courage to do right in her own life?
Drawing richly from the historical record, Visions of Teaogacaptures a world in upheaval. Readers sit at a native story circle and learn of the tensions and treachery besetting the Eastern frontier. As Maddy and her modern-day compatriots enter the story, they ponder how our history was recorded and by whom. The book is a perfect companion for middle-school history classes, with discussion questions and other supplemental materials provided on the author’s website, www.jimremsen.com.
“Sheshequin, Madd. Yo, how’s that for a name?”
Maddy jerked awake. “Wuh. Wha-where?”
“We just passed the turnoff to Sheshequin,” her father smiled. “Sorry, girl, you were conked out for a few minutes.”
Maddy righted herself and peered around. “Sheshequin?” It sounded like another Indian word. Earlier on the drive, he’d had her pronounce the names of other spots as they passed: Tunkhannock, Meshoppen, Wyalusing, Towanda. The big river, she knew that one already: Susquehanna. All were place names left over from the original native inhabitants. And all whispered not Texas.
Mr. Winter found an oldies station on the radio and began wah-waahing along to a love ballad. Maddy listened lightly, still too groggy to join in. Once her eyes would stay open and focused, she turned to look outside. They were traveling down on the valley floor now. Not a single cottonwood tree in sight, but those frilly white wildflowers were everywhere. Lots of noisy trucks, too.
Soon something told Maddy to look to the right. Her gaze caught a big slab of rock just ahead. It was sunk in the ground along her side of the road. As they shot past, words flashed by her window: Tea-something. Queen-E-something. Whoa, that was a monument. To a queen? I love queens!
“Wait!” she cried. “Stop!”
About the Author:
Jim Remsen is a professional writer and editor in Philadelphia, where he had a successful career at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to retirement, he was newspaper’s awarding-winning Religion Editor. He also is co-author of The Intermarriage Handbook: A Guide for Jews and Christians (HarperCollins), a widely used bible for mixed-faith couples.
Jim, an avid student of history, stumbled onto the story of Queen Esther and the Bloody Rock while on a road trip. Deciding to bring the poignant saga to life for the young reader, he spent nearly two years researching and writing Visions of Teaoga. He is a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Authors Guild. To learn more about Jim, and to access educational materials about Queen Esther’s world, visit his website at http://www.jimremsen.com.
Visions of Teaoga
Authored by Jim Remsen
List Price: $14.95
7″ x 10″ (17.78 x 25.4 cm)
Black & White on White paper
Sunbury Press, Inc.
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods
Also available on Kindle and Nook
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