Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw tale of friendship and freedom by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges.
Martha Tom, a young Choctaw girl, crosses the Bok Chitto River even though she has been told not to. There she finds a slave church service out in the forest. Martha makes friends with Little Mo, a young slave who returns her safely to the other side of the river after slowly and silently passing right under the noses of the Master and his family. Then it is Little Mo’s turn to see the Choctaw people doing a wedding ceremony. The two children cross back and forth, learning more about each other’s cultures. But then comes the day when Little Mo’s mother is sold away. The only solution is for them to escape. It is his friendship with Martha Tom that will save their family.
This book is gorgeously illustrated, winningly written, and will sound a chord with most people. The use of faith and song to tie two cultures together is done lovingly and with great respect for both. This is one to hand to families looking for a deep, moving story whatever their faith or background. Simply lovely.