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Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Caleb's Crossing is set on Martha's Vineyard during the 17th century and is narrated by Bethia Mayfield, daughter of a minister who is trying to convert the local Wampanoag natives. Bethia is thirsty for knowledge, but she's refused education because of her gender. She meets Caleb, the chieftain's son, and they begin a secret friendship where they teach each other knowledge from their different cultures. Bethia's pursuit of knowledge is constantly stunted by the men in her life, while Caleb becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. Geraldine Brooks' novel has received mixed reviews with the Denver Post saying, "Brooks' triumph is to bring the reader into a different world, and to do it with her signature style - researched and nuanced, one that jumps from the page into the reader's mind and heart."