Staff Pick: Tina on Anna, Like Thunder by Peggy Herring

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In 1808, a Russian Trade ship runs aground off the coast of Oregon with the 18-year-old wife of the Captain on board. Anna and few of the ship’s crew are captured by the First Nations peoples of the region where they are put to work, taught, traded and taken care of.

Her husband and the rest of the crew eventually kidnap an important member of one of the tribes to trade for Anna and, in a surprising turn of events, Anna refuses to go with them. In fact she tries to convince them they should surrender. Anna has seen a very believable side to the way First Nations and Europeans lived and saw the world.

This is a fictional account of a true event. An interesting fact is that when one of the crew did make it back to Europe, he wrote about Anna, her refusal to be traded back to her people and how that affected and influenced them all. At the same time, there has long been an oral history passed down through the generations of the coastal tribes of Anna’s story as well. In 1985 both of these stories were gathered and looked at side by side. They were found to be almost exactly the same despite being of years and continents apart.

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