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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Twelfth Winter: Sequel to Summer of Two Worlds by J. Arthur Moore is a young adult coming-of-age tale about an orphaned white boy named Michael who was rescued as a toddler by a Sioux family and raised as their son, Prairie Cub. Now sent back East to the white man’s world, he faces the daunting task of adapting to a new family and a new culture. Adopting the name Michael P.C. Freeman and assisted by a train engineer who has connections to his life in Montana, he begins life in a small town in West Virginia where no one knows about his upbringing. Michael will face challenges in his new world, but he won’t face them alone, and an unbelievable surprise awaits him in the form of a gift from the president of the local railroad. Several photographs and illustrations add to the reader’s enjoyment of the story.
In Twelfth Winter, J. Arthur Moore continues the story of Michael “Prairie Cub” Freeman, an intelligent, lively, kind-hearted, and courageous boy who is soon to turn twelve in a place and among people as foreign as his home back West would be to them. The details of daily life in the 1880s, the respectful presentation of white and Sioux cultures, and Moore’s interest in historic locomotives blend into a story that is utterly engaging. Having read Summer of Two Worlds, I was excited to see where Michael’s journey took him, and I wasn’t disappointed. The characters are cleanly drawn with emotional depth. Michael’s soul-searching about his two identities and his homesickness for his Sioux family are skillfully balanced with new adventures, new friends, and a caring new family. A wonderful tale of individual growth and family love. Highly recommended.