Moccasin Trail

McGraw, Eloise Jarvis

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Colton Hutchison

March 10, 2014



Jim Keathe, born a white man, is a native American man that roams from place to place with his dog and his horse. When Jim wasn't any older than eight, he ran away from home with his uncle. Talks Alone, Jim's Crow name, spent his teenage years as a Crow Indian. Jim has a long braid in the back like most Crow Indians do.


Jonnie Keathe, Jim's younger brother, is a white man and is astonished at how Jim has changed. Jonnie is still a teenager at the age of about 16. The last time he saw his older brother was when he was six and Jim was eight. He realizes Jim has changed into an indian but he can't fully exept it.


Dan'l is Jim's youngest brother at the age of about eight of nine with bright blonde hair. When him and Jim meet for the first time Dan'l doesn't think he could possibly be brothers with an Indian. But shortly after getting to know Jim, he realizes how much they are actually alike. When Dan'l sees Jim do something, he wants to do it to. He wants to be just like Jim.


Moccasin Trail takes place in several different areas in the Oregon territory. This is the pioneer days. Jim lives with the Crow Indians high in the mountains in the beginning.

The rest of the story is set in the Keath's claim in the mountains.


The Moccasin Trail is a story about a Crow Indian named Jim Keathe. Jim, or Talks Alone his Crow name, ran away from home with his uncle when he was only about eight. After his uncle died, he grows up, learns the ways, and transforms into a native American. Jim lives with the Crows until the age of about 16, then starts into the trade. The trade is the trapping and selling of beaver furs. Jim and his trapping partner Tom, move from place to place to find beaver to trap. One day shortly after Jim's nineteenth birthday, he gets a letter from his younger brother Jonnie saying that he would like for Jim to live with Jonnie and their other siblings if he could sign the papers to claim land since Jonnie isn't old enough. After meeting, they find a nice place to settle and build a cabin. Once signing the papers, he and his siblings start to work on the cabin. It takes them almost six months of backbreaking work before they finally finish it. Jim finds out from his neighbors that some Indians were stealing their cattle from them. After finding and stealing the animals, Jim gets himself into a predicament but gets out safely. The unpredictable Jim Keathe has many close encounters with danger along the way, but always finds his way out with his scalp.

Newberry Award

The Newberry Medal award was designed in 1921 by Rene Paul Chamberlain. This medal is awarded annually by the American Library Assosiation for the best children's book published in the previous year. It was named after the eighteenth-century book seller John Newberry. The Newberry Award was the first children's book award in the world. Fredric G. Melcher was the founder of the Newberry Award. The bronze medal has the name of the author and date it was won engraved in the back. Newberry also had a "runner-up" award until 1971 and that term was changed into "honors book". All runner-ups are now considered award winners. The Newberry Medal has had its name changed four times since it was established. The membership now includes public school and public library librarians. There has been 92 Newberry Award winners.

Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Eloise Jarvis McGraw was born on December 9, 1915. She was the author of several children's books throughout her life. Eloise was married to William Corbin McGraw, and they had two children named Peter and Lauren. McGraw won the Newberry Award in 1953 for the book Moccasin Trail. After writing two award winning books in her life, she died in Portland, Oregon of "complications of cancer".

Thoughts about the book

I liked this book because of the time period, the setting, and the people in it. Since I like reading about books from the pioneer days, this was a good book for me. I think this book could win any award, not just the Newberry Award. This is one of my favorite books I've ever read.