Searching for blackberries one day, Martha Tom, a Choctaw girl, crosses the Bok Chitto river to where there is a slave-owning plantation. Little Mo, whose family is enslaved, helps Martha Tom get home. Next, it will be Martha Tom's turn to lead as her family helps Little Mo's family. Crossing Bok Chitto tells Martha Tom and Little Mo's story in picture book form and Stone River Crossing expands their story in a chapter book.
Check out your copy of Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle.
Check out your copy of Stone River Crossing. The audio eBook is always available.
Listen to librarian Liesel read an excerpt of Crossing Bok Chitto:
Learn more about the Choctaw
Learn about the Choctaw Nation, formed in Oklahoma after Choctaw were forcibly removed from their homelands.
Learn more about the community, government and culture of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Crossing Bok Chitto and Stone River Crossing take place in Mississippi. Today, the descendants of the Choctaw who remained in Mississippi form the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
Hear context and discussion about the history of American Indian removal in this video from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Learn about the land where you live
What nations and communities have ties to the land where you live? Learn more about the Indigenous people who have ancestral ties to the land on which you live. Denver, Colorado is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapahoe people. There are forty-eight contemporary tribal nations with historical ties to the lands that make up the state of Colorado.
Watch librarians Gigi and Liesel discuss Crossing Bok Chitto:
- The Bok Chitto River forms the border between the plantation and the sovereign Choctaw nation. What does it mean for Little Mo and his family to cross the border into the Choctaw Nation? How do you think their lives will change once they have crossed the border?
- Little Mo and Martha Tom both take a risk to help another person. Why do you think they take those risks?
What to read next
Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane - The books Crossing Bok Chitto and Stone River Crossing occur in the 1800s. Expand your understanding of contemporary Indigenous culture with this exploration of the powwow. Pheasant-Neganigwane shares the history and significance of this celebration of Indigenous culture that takes place across North America.
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve - This compelling narrative tells the true story of Ona Judge, who escaped from slavery and fought for the chance to determine her own future.
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle - Meet Tim Tingle’s grandmother, Mawmaw, in this intergenerational family history.