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Extended Audio Sample Calico Captive Audiobook, by Elizabeth George Speare Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,205 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth George Speare Narrator: C. M. Hébert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455178308
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Early one morning in the year 1754, the stillness of Charlestown, New Hampshire, is shattered by shrill war whoops and the terror of an Indian raid. Young Miriam Willard, on a day that had promised new happiness, finds herself instead a captive on a forest trail, caught up in the ebb and flow of the French and Indian War. She endures a harrowing march north, with limited food and icy streams to cross. The trail ends with a waiting Indian gauntlet and a life of hard work—perhaps even a life of slavery. As her mind turns to thoughts of her sweetheart, Phineas Whitney, she is also mindful of the cries of her sister’s baby, Captive, who was born on the trail.

Miriam and her companions finally reach Montreal, a city of shifting loyalties filled with the intrigue of war. Here, by a sudden twist of fortune, Miriam meets the prominent Du Quesne family, who introduce her to a life of fashion and luxury she has never imagined and who compel her to make the most important decision of her life.

Based on the actual narrative diary published in 1907, Calico Captive skillfully reenacts an absorbing facet of history.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The constant shifts of locale and situation present narrator Hébert with an excellent showcase for her range of talents…But the very best part is the realistic, almost insider’s, view of early American war, class structure, and prejudice.”

    AudioFile

  • “Hébert’s reading is professional and sympathetic.” 

    Kliatt

  • “Vital and vivid, this short novel based on the actual captivity of a pre-Revolutionary girl of Charlestown, New Hampshire, presents American history with force and verve.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Convincing historical romance set during the French and Indian War.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cecilia | 2/17/2014

    " An pretty good story, with mediocre characters and heavy handed writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 2/17/2014

    " I read this in fifth or sixth grade, and loved it. I appreciate fiesty heroines, of course, but my favorite parts where when the French suitor buys Miriam a cup of real hot chocolate, and when the French governor's wife offers her a luxurious bolt of fabric and she gives it to her good friend Hortense. Oh! I love this book. Where is my copy? Gotta read it again... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 2/17/2014

    " In my top 5 at age 10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erinn | 2/13/2014

    " Good for children over 8. Some parts may be distressing ; indian attack and kidnapping. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 2/9/2014

    " Captivating story about what people felt and did in the mid 1700's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonja | 2/5/2014

    " What a great classic with meaningful and personal history of the French and Indian Wars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 1/31/2014

    " Not as good as The Witch of Blackbird Pond or The Sign of the Beaver, but still an interesting read. It was certainly a reminder of just how little I know about the French and Indian War... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 1/25/2014

    " Pretty thrilling throughout, especially knowing it's based on fact. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 1/19/2014

    " I really love the books that Elizabeth George Speare writes! This book is historical fiction follows a family who is taken by Indians and sold into slavery to the French. I do have to say there were times I was bugged by the main girl, but the book shows a real learning process for her and by the end I liked her a lot better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Glaittli | 1/16/2014

    " My mom had to force me to read this book and i am so glad that she did. I loved it. It has a really sweet love story in it and... it's been a while since I read it but i know that i really liked it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madame Butterfly | 1/14/2014

    " What can I say about this book that would do it justice? Its just so wonderful and engaging! Just like all of Elizabeth George Speare's books this one FEELS real. Its not wishy washy or poorly written, its REAL. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen Hummel | 1/12/2014

    " Good book based on a true story of a family during the French and Indian War taken captive by Indians and held for ransom in Montreal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 1/4/2014

    " Loved reading this book aloud to my girls, ages 11 and 9. They really enjoyed it. So far we have enjoyed three of Speare's books: this one, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and The Sign of the Beaver. I guess we need to read The Bronze Bow next. Excellent story by a wonderful author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina | 1/4/2014

    " Loved it! I can always count on Speare for a very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lydia | 1/1/2014

    " Personally I don't like the ending. I think she should have stayed at Montreal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele R | 12/28/2013

    " I have searched for this book on and off in my adulthood, and have had a difficulty finding it in print, so I was thrilled to find it and read it again. I have loved all of Elizabeth George Speare's historical fiction,and this is no exception. Written for young adults, this book, originally publlshed in 1957, gives an account of Miriam Willards excperiences being captured by Indians and then sold as a slave in Canada during the French and Indian War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 12/22/2013

    " I read this in fifth or sixth grade, and loved it. I appreciate fiesty heroines, of course, but my favorite parts where when the French suitor buys Miriam a cup of real hot chocolate, and when the French governor's wife offers her a luxurious bolt of fabric and she gives it to her good friend Hortense. Oh! I love this book. Where is my copy? Gotta read it again... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/22/2013

    " I liked it better the second time I read it, when I actually took time to understand things. Not as good as Witch of Blackbird Pond, but I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 12/13/2013

    " Read this in jr high or so. It is based on a true story and the history is great. I wasn't aware this went on between the French & English as far as how the captives were treated. Love this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie A. | 12/7/2013

    " A classic, and still one of the best, Indian-captive stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/3/2013

    " My favorite book in the fourth grade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly Pantle | 12/3/2013

    " By far this was my favorite book when I was younger. I still enjoy reading today. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 11/24/2013

    " One of my favorite books since I was a teen. A young girl from the American colonies is kidnapped by natives and sold to the French in Quebec. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erinn | 11/10/2013

    " Good for children over 8. Some parts may be distressing ; indian attack and kidnapping. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali Bottorff | 10/27/2013

    " I read this one in middle school and absolutely loved it. It is very good with lots of historical context and fashion which makes everything better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 10/15/2013

    " I loved her book The Sign of the Beaver when I was a kid and I found this at Goodwill. I actually didn't know that she had written any other books. I do wish she had written a follow up to Sign of the Beaver "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 10/12/2013

    " A good book for girls who enjoy adventure and a little romance. I read Indian captive right after I read this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Sun | 10/9/2013

    " This book was pretty good. I generally like EGS books. It is about colonial America as well as about France and Native Americans. It has action and a trace of romance "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Ayres | 10/9/2013

    " I liked this almost as much as The Witch of Blackbird Pond. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susanna | 10/8/2013

    " One of my favorites as a young teen. A good historical fiction, but a cute, fun love story as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaitlyn | 9/24/2013

    " one of the best books I ever read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 8/17/2013

    " The story comes alive when you realize that this is an account of true events. Every time any 11-13 year-old girl visits my house, she finds this book on my shelf. I know that when she borrows it, I will never see the book again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shealyn | 8/15/2013

    " More of a child's book but still enjoyed it. It is an easy read. Great book for a kid's book club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess Trebanna | 8/12/2013

    " This was one of my favorite books when I was a little kid. Well, even into my teens, really. All right, fine, I still read it and like it. ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 8/6/2013

    " A wonderfully evocative story, told by an extremely interesting heroine. I honestly knew very little about this aspect of North American history prior to this book - it's lovely when you can pick up some history and read a marvelous story at the same time!!! One of my favorite YA stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 8/3/2013

    " Enjoyable Newberry award winner. Made me want to read the nonfiction account this story is based on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa T | 7/24/2013

    " Fabulous story about a young woman during early colonial times. Great lessons to be learned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 7/10/2013

    " It was amazing!! I recommend it for boys and girls really interesting! :) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Celeste | 6/2/2013

    " This is a wonderful book it had a ton of adventures it was hard to put down "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 5/7/2013

    " I had to read it for my summer reading. Some people like it but I could not get into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bekah | 4/18/2013

    " I read this book a couple years ago, and really enjoyed it... except the ending. The ending was OK,but I think it could've been better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madame Butterfly | 4/15/2013

    " What can I say about this book that would do it justice? Its just so wonderful and engaging! Just like all of Elizabeth George Speare's books this one FEELS real. Its not wishy washy or poorly written, its REAL. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 4/7/2013

    " Like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, it really stands out as fulfilling a really precise taste in reading for the age I read it. It's got that same mix of adventure and thoughtfulness, and I remember really finding it incredible as a kid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 3/21/2013

    " I'm surprised how much I ended up liking this book. It's really a good story, and the setting with the Indians and later in Montreal during this time period (1754) is really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 1/18/2013

    " Based on a real historical event: French and Indian war. Really fascinating. Elizabeth George Speare is an outstanding writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/16/2013

    " Miriam, a young girl, is longing for love, but is taken away from her home by indians. She is then sold in Canada and has to become a servant. Can she adapt to this new role? Will she ever go home? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Sun | 9/21/2012

    " This book was pretty good. I generally like EGS books. It is about colonial America as well as about France and Native Americans. It has action and a trace of romance "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 9/8/2012

    " One of my first favorite books--I'd love to find a copy and read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie | 6/16/2012

    " I loved this book as a child! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/24/2012

    " Enjoyable Newberry award winner. Made me want to read the nonfiction account this story is based on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosemary | 10/22/2011

    " I read this book when I was 10 or so, but it's just as good 20 years later. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 9/25/2011

    " A story based on an true experience. A wonderful story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Wiley | 8/12/2011

    " Second best YA novel I've read--Interesting backdrop, good characters and an exciting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenniferayres | 5/19/2011

    " I liked this almost as much as The Witch of Blackbird Pond. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 5/16/2011

    " It was amazing!! I recommend it for boys and girls really interesting! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 4/18/2011

    " This book is beautifully written, and I think it was more meaningful to me because I have been to Montreal where part of this book takes place. Overall, Calico Captive is a book that you just won't be able to put down! ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 2/23/2011

    " Kids don't want me to put it down! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginnie | 1/4/2011

    " I love this author. What a great story. Kept me guess until the end. Great plot and based on a real story.

    I would recommend this book to almost anybody, especially people who like historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 11/8/2010

    " This was an interesting story I liked it because it's based on a true story ..it's hard to imagine being taken captive by Indians and sold as slaves..very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 10/21/2010

    " Pretty thrilling throughout, especially knowing it's based on fact. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gillian | 9/28/2010

    " I really love this book. :) Please read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haley | 9/23/2010

    " this one was cool. this one girl goes through three totally different life styles! she gets kidnapped by the Indians then forced to travel up to the french colonies and was sold to the french then, after a lot of other details, finds a way back home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 8/31/2010

    " I truly enjoy this author and the insight into what life was like during different time periods. I have loved each book of hers, each time set during a different time period. Loved it! "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth George SpeareElizabeth George Speare is widely known and admired by readers of all ages for her outstanding historical novels. She received the Newbery Medal for both The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Bronze Bow. Her book The Sign of the Beaver was a Newbery Honor award-winner and is available on audio from Listening Library.
About the Narrator

C. M. Hébert is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award nominee. She is the recording studio director for the Talking Books Program at the Library of Congress’ National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, daughter, cat, and assorted fish.