Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War” as Want to Read:
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,204 ratings  ·  296 reviews
Anikwa and James, twelve years old in 1812, spend their days fishing, trapping, and exploring together in the forests of the Indiana Territory. To Anikwa and his family, members of the Miami tribe, this land has been home for centuries. As traders, James's family has ties to the Miami community as well as to the American soldiers in the fort. Now tensions are rising—the Br ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Salt, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,204 ratings  ·  296 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Besides the Anne of Green Gables series, I haven't really dipped my toes into historical fiction that is geared toward the children's audience. This book was a neat introduction into that genre.

Set in 1812 in the Indiana territory around Fort Wayne, two boys from two different worlds have a thriving friendship, free of any prejudices or political loyalties. James is the son of a family of settlers who run a trading post outside of the fort, and Anikwa is a young boy from the Miami tribe, who hav
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.This is the first book I have ever read about the War of 1812, and so it provided some interesting insight to that period of history. This story would be great read (or listened to) in the classroom. It is told from alternating points of view between a 12 year old settler and a 12 year old Indian. It is not too heavy on historical names, dates, or details, but focuses more on the events as perceived by the two boys.                  
Richie Partington
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie's Picks: SALT: A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP IN A TIME OF WAR by Helen Frost, Farrar Straus & Giroux, July 2013, 160p., ISBN: 978-0-374-36387-1

"I wonder who they are, the men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it with such a thoughtless hand
What are their names and on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over this afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace and mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask"
--David Crosby, Neil Young, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Michae
Barb Middleton
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel-in-verse looks into the past when Native Americans were forced from their lands in the 1800s in the United States. I just happened to have finished the book, How I Became a Ghost , by Tim Tingle about the same topic except specifically, the Trail of Tears. These two books could be compared regarding the Removal Acts of 1830 and how they impacted the Native Americans. They are quick reads. Helen Frost captures the lifestyle of the Miami tribe at Kekionga and the trading post outside ...more
Claudia  Fett
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed "Salt" by Helen Frost. "Summary: Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812."

I think that it would be a good fifth grade book group book. It is a powerful book, written in verse. "Salt" would make a great addition to a fourth or fifth grade unit. When properly placed into a unit, this book will help meet Common Core Standar
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-novels
This was so heartbreaking. Told in alternating perspectives in verse, two young boys--one American, one Miami (the tribe, not the city)--find that their friendship may not be strong enough to heal the rift between their peoples. Knowing what we do about how the Native Americans were pushed off of their lands through threats and fire and tricks, it's hard to feel any sympathy for the Americans in this one. James and his family consider the Miami people their friends, but one family can't successf ...more
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
As a rule I don't like novels in verse. I think Frost came pretty close, here, because the verse is well-formed, and there's a reason behind it, as she explains at the end of the book. The spareness suits her authorial voice, too. That said, it was an interesting, well-balanced portrait of a moment in time. It felt fairly even-handed, though too good to be true in spots.
I would give this 10 stars if I could! This novel in verse is set in and around S E Indiana right before the War of 1812. It is absolutely perfect for my 5th graders here in SW Ohio. I will definitely purchase multiple copies for our students & teachers to use in their classes. Highly recommended. ...more
Friends? Enemies? James Gray and Anikwa have grown up together--James lives with his family who run a trading post by Fort Wayne; Anikwa and his family live nearby in a small community of the Miami (Native American) nation. The two families are friendly and James and Anikwa often meet up in the forest to hunt and play. Anikwa's family trades at the trading post and his mother makes moccasins for James and his sister. In the fall of 1812, however, things are changing. British and American armies ...more
Kevin Dai
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War by Helen Frost is a story of friendship that takes place in the Indiana Territory and is happening around the time of the War of 1812. The two are 12-year old boys, James is from the American fort and Anikwa is from the Miami tribe. They love to spend a lot of free time together, exploring the territory of the region, and trying to learn each other’s languages. All of that is about to change when alliances are made between the British and the American ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in 1812, James and Anikwa, both 12 years old, are best friends. James lives with his family at their trading post at Fort Wayne in the Indiana Territory. Anikwa, a Miami Indian, lives with his family and tribe in Kekionga. Their families respect and treat each other like family. However, with war on the horizon, will they be able to trust one another?

I loved these characters and their journey. Great introduction to Indian-American relations during this time, especially for those who live in
Zoe C
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Salt, by Helen Frost, is a book told in a poem format. There are two different kinds of poems because every other one is told by a different boy. Anikwa, a Boy that is part of a Miami tribe, and James, an American. But this is during the war of 1812 so the Miami tribe and the fort that James lives near don't trust each other. The trading post at the fort will not trade with them so that means the Miami tribe won't be able to get salt. They need to have salt to survive. Can Anikwa and James help ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I definitely liked this verse novel set in the Indiana Territory during the War of 1812. I liked the dual narration. I liked reading about the times from the perspective of the Native Americans (Anikwa, is our young hero) and from the perspective of the white settlers (James, our second young hero). These two boys can be on the best of terms: doing plenty of things side by side, learning from each other, laughing at each other, too. But their are forces pulling these two cultures apart. There ar ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Why does war have to interfere with people who are living in peace? Set during the War of 1812, this novel in verse is told in two voices, that of James and his Miami Indian friend Anikwa. James' father runs a trading post, and they have co-existed peacefully with the local Indians for years. But when the British and American troops come, they destroy everything--houses, crops, woods, and local game--to keep the Indians from supporting either side. What they never understand is that the local In ...more
Cristina Quattrone
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will break your heart. On the surface, it is a story about a young friendship between an American and Indigenous boy as they navigate rising tensions in The War of 1812. However, this book is also about how cultural and language barriers divide us and muddy the waters. How it can become difficult to distinguish between a generalization and an individual, and this is often our downfall. How children can see through and around the mess that adults leave in their wake. Each shift in persp ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Salt by Helen Frost HF told in a poem. I rated it five stars, in my opinion it is a great book. The two main characters are Anikwa (Indian) and James (American), Anikwa is very protective, in the book he tries to save a dead frog for dinner but the other character Isaac throws it into the river. Also he gave James food when they were going to war. James is more selfish, in the story he fights his friend Anikwa because he had his rabbit, this shows that James wants every thing for him self. the m ...more
Told in the alternating narratives of two 12 year old boys, Anikwa and James in 1812 from the heart of Indian Territory. Anikwa and his family, members of the Miami tribe, have lived on this land for centuries. James's family are traders and connected to the new settles and solders who arrive in waves to stake their claims in the new frontier.

Can their friendship survive the forces at play, the winds of war, and disloyalty?

Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Twelve-year-old Anikwa, a member of the Miami tribe, and twelve-year-old James, the son of white traders, are friends who spend much of their time together in the Indiana territory where they live. When the War of 1812 breaks out, however, they find their families on opposites sides. James's family can suddenly no longer provide salt to the Miami, and many of the other white families are suspicious of the Indians, wondering if they are out to
Feb 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I either didn't know or forgot this was a story-in-poems book. When I realized that I decided to read it anyway, which was probably a mistake. I only finished it because it was so short. I think poetry can be used to evoke a mood, but here it just seems to be an excuse for a very thin story and zero character development. The poems about the journey of salt seemed out of place and were just distracting and eventually annoying. I feel like the decision to make salt a symbolic focus for the story ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015waw-options
This WAW possibility was all right, but I'm not sure it deserves all the praise it is getting. It's in prose and told by two boys: James who is the son of a trading post owner just outside Fort Wayne but inside the stockade around the fort. Anikwa is a boy from the nearby native american village. They alternate pages telling their stories of the conflict between the American fort and the native peoples during the war of 1812. Frost also includes poems about salt and it's importance for both side ...more
The historical fiction novel Salt, published in 2013, written by Helen Frost, is set in the newly expanding United States. The novel is centered around to young boys James and Anikwa whose families have been helping and trading with one
another for years, until the War of 1812. It highlights the lives of not those who fought the war with weapons but those fought with the pre- and post- war damages. The book has some interesting formatting that set it apart from others; every page is headed with t
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this for library collections. It tackles a subject that is seldom talked about in US history. When it comes to Americans' poor treatment of Native Americans, the only books I can think of in our school library focus on the Trail of Tears. I think the size of the novel and that it is in verse will appeal to those readers who are reluctant to pick up longer works of historical fiction. There is so much potential for discussion of issues like Manifest Destiny. I think the poetry ...more
The war of 1812 as seen through the eyes of two boys
One a 12 year old Miami Indian
the other a 12 year old American
Both want to learn and teach the other
Both are at peace with the land
But more then the war can divide them

Told in verse this is a sad tale of what it was like when American's first settled here. It paints a very true and very scary picture for us of just what it was like back then.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens
Author Frost skillfully crafts a concise snapshot of a period in America just before the War of 1812, deploying her gift of poetry to present twin narratives from the perspective of two boys during that time. Each page in the story switches perspective from one boy to the other; a structure that could be cumbersome, but it works because the two boys voices are well realized. Overall, this is well-researched, well-executed historical fiction that leaves the reader with a curiosity to know more.
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story is a beatiful example of friendship. It tells the story of two young boys whose lives change as the war of 1812 begins. The boys, one a white settler, and the other from a native tribe called Miami. The story is told in two voices, in prose, with the words on opposite pages. As the boys friendship is tested, you learn about the war from both sides. Pick up this book, it is a great read.
Katie Reed
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think that "Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War" was a beautiful story. I enjoyed it.

I was debating giving this book four stars, but I believe that this book deserves five.

Brief Summary:
Two twelve-year old boys are part of different tribes, and they are friends. The tribes are getting attacked, and one of the villages flees.
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this, but didn't notice some of the things that Debbie Reese brings up here http://americanindiansinchildrenslite...

Glad she shares her perspective.
Kris Springer
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite of Frost's books. Her 2 male protagonists, 11 year olds Anikwa and James, are realistically created, and the actions are faithful to the history from 1812. Moving, beautifully written and a great read for children 8-14. So far, one of my favorites this year.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to historical fiction for my third grader. This was a class assigned book and I read it so we could discuss. I love historical fiction and hope he will get the bug as well. This story was quite sad without being too heavy for a young reader.
Edward Sullivan
Excellent historical novel written in verse set in Indiana during the War of 1812.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lifeboat 12
  • Full of Beans
  • Full Cicada Moon
  • The Red Pencil
  • Paper Wishes
  • Serafina's Promise
  • Words with Wings
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)
  • Missing Mike
  • Unbound: A Novel in Verse
  • Black Brother, Black Brother
  • Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus
  • Caminar
  • Chasing Secrets
  • Lost in the Sun
  • Clean Getaway
  • Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy, #2)
See similar books…
I'm dipping my toes into goodreads to see how it works. Thanks for finding me here, and thanks to everyone who has read and written about my books. I love to know you're there, even if I don't come here too often to say so.

Helen Frost is the author of six novels-in-poems and two picture books for children and young adults. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
53 likes · 30 comments