The Reason for Crows
A Story of Kateri Tekakwitha
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The story of a 17th century Mohawk woman's interaction with her land, the Jesuits, and the religion they brought.
In The Reason for Crows, award-winning author Diance Glancy retells the story of Kateri Tekakwitha, a seventeenth-century Mohawk woman who converted to Christianity and later became known as the "Lily of the Mohawks. " Left frail, badly scarred, and nearly blind from a smallpox epidemic that killed her parents, Kateri nevertheless took part in the daily activities of her village—gathering firewood, preparing meals, weaving, and treating the wounded after skirmishes with the French and enemy tribes. When the Jesuits arrived in her village, she received their message and converted to Christianity. After her conversion, she was scorned and persecuted by her fellow Indians and eventually left her home along the Mohawk River for a village the Jesuits had established for Christian Indians, where she died at the age of 24. In Glancy's imaginative and poetic retelling, Kateri's interior voice is intertwined with the interior voices of the Jesuit missionaries—the crows—who endured their own hardships crossing the ocean and establishing missions in an unfamiliar land. Together they tell a story of spiritual awakening and the internal conflicts that arise when cultures meet.