By Marge Bruchac
Young Malian lives contentedly with her parents and extended family in an Abenaki village near Montréal in the mid-eighteenth century. One night, Malian’s life changes abruptly. Silently, her father carries her off to the woods, blanket and all, and orders her to run to their tribe’s winter camp. Malian obeys, but not before she turns to watch her father slip back to the village through the trees. She never sees him again.
Malian’s Song is based on the true story of a deliberate attack by English Major Robert Rogers on Québec’s St. Francis Abenaki community in 1759. Malian's account of “Rogers's Raid,” passed down through generations of Abenaki oral tradition, reveals that many Abenaki people survived the attack that destroyed their village, in direct contrast to Rogers’ journal accounts. Jeanne Brink, a descendant of Malian living in Vermont, told the Vermont Folklife Center the little-known Abenaki version of the brutal attack. In this first Abenaki and English picture book, preeminent Abenaki historian Marge Bruchac and illustrator William Maughan portray Malian’s story of a people's strength and fortitude in the face of unspeakable loss.