A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Helen Frost

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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 British and American armies prepare to meet at Fort Wayne for a crucial battle, and Native Americans from surrounding tribes gather in Kekionga to protect their homeland. After trading stops and precious commodities, like salt, are withheld, the fort comes under siege, and war ravages the land. James and Anikwa, like everyone around them, must decide where their deepest loyalties lie. Can their families—and their friendship—survive? In Salt, Printz Honor author Helen Frost offers a compelling look at a difficult time in history. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013 A Frances Foster Book


Read an Excerpt

Dang mosquito bit me right where I can’t reach it.
I rub my back against a hickory tree—up and down,
side to side. There—almost got it. Might look silly,
but nobody’s watching. Except a squirrel—I hear it up there in the branches, and I get out my slingshot.
Ma will be happy when I bring home something
 for the soup pot. Where is that old squirrel, anyhow?
Sounds like a whole family of ’em, laughing at me,
and I can’t see even one. What? Not again! It’s
Anikwa, laughing as he jumps down from the


Praise for Salt

“ [Readers] will come away with heightened sympathy for non-combatants caught up in the course of violent change.”-- The Wall Street Journal

"Printz Honor Book author Frost (Keesha’s House, 2003) has written, with artful economy, another affecting novel in verse. Interspersed among selections narrated in the alternating voices of the two boys are poems about the salt that is necessary to the survival of both peoples." Booklist, starred review

"Sensitive and smart: a poetic vista for historical insight as well as cultural awareness." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Salt is an important novel for students to read and consider as they are learning about the War of 1812 in their social studies classes. The perspective of the boys helps bring personal meaning to a period of history that can be hard for students to grasp." -- VOYA

 "The verse is succinct, yet beautiful, and the story is rich in historical and natural details. Fans of frontier and survival stories will find much to love within these pages." -- School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Helen Frost

  • Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Diamond Willow, Crossing Stones, The Braid, and Keesha’s House, a Printz Honor Book. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.

  • Helen Frost


Available Formats and Book Details


A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Helen Frost

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List
  • Hardcover