Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle

Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim TingleSchema: African American Slavery, Native American Indians

Text-to-Self Connections:  playing with children different than yourself, helping others, disobeying about where to play outside

Tim Tingle, a Native American Choctaw Indian and storyteller. This book would  be a great one to share during African American History Month.

The story shows the emotion of a family who learns that their mother has been sold.  It also touches on the African American Christians who had to go to the woods to hide in order to gather for worship.

Martha Tom is sent to pick blackberries for a Choctaw wedding ceremony feast.  She crosses the river by walking on some hidden stones just under the surface of the water.  After crossing, she stumbles upon an African American man calling his worship service together as the slaves come out of their hidden places to sit upon log benches.

Martha Tom visits many times after and is very touched by the music.  She meets a slave family and becomes friends with their son, Little Mo, or Moses, who leads his family across Bok Chitto to freedom after his mother is sold.

Cause and Effect: Because the mother is about to be sold, the effect is that the family wants to run away so they can stay together.

Because the slave hunters see the family walking on water, the effect is that they think they are ghosts or have some sort of  supernatural power.

The author conveys the emotion of the mother and family, and shows the faith and love of the Choctaw people who help them trick the white slave hunters who are looking for them.  Some photos of Choctaws and information about this tribe is added at the end of the book.

Inference: What do the slave hunters infer when they see the people walking on the stones just under the surface of the water?

Drawing Conclusions: What evidence supports the conclusion that the slave owners thought Little Mo and his family were ghosts?


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