This story is fiction though many of the adventures really happened and I later heard from his grandchildren that the “Chief” had boasted to them that he was in a book. The lake is accurate except that I omitted the Kenosha Girl Scout Camp and stole their name for my Indian tribe. The adventures, both real and imaginary, are compressed into one summer. A boy scout camp really did appear, and from then on we had interactions with the scouts – sometimes pleasurable and sometimes not.
The kids are patterned after my family and we actually spent several summers playing at being Indians with the hut and mulberry tree, although our knowledge of actual Indians was innocently limited. My attractive sister, “Old Nokomis”, was a natural attraction to the Boy Scout counselors and my feather never left my head. In the 1940s, when the story takes place, there was neither television nor electronic games. We found our entertainment where we created it.
Little, Brown of Boston published the book in 1958 and I waited for the review in The Hornbook, the prima review medium for children’s books. When it failed to appear my editor confessed that they were refusing to review it - even though they said it was a superior book - because of one sentence which you will find on page 186. It was banned from all the Boston public schools. My editor had such faith in it that she brought out a new and unchanged edition - except for the cover art - in 1968 but it continued to be banned. It has been the most sought-after of all my books and commands a high price on rare book websites. I still receive regular requests for this long out-of-print publication. For that reason, I am releasing it for a third time here.
Jacqueline Jackson, 2019