Cover image for Trouble at Fort La Pointe
Trouble at Fort La Pointe
Ernst, Kathleen, 1959-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Middleton, WI : Pleasant Company Publications, [2000]

Physical Description:
163 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm.
In the early 1700s, twelve-year-old Suzette, an Ojibwa-French girl, hopes that her father will win the fur-trapping contest so that he can quit being a voyageur and stay with his family year-round, but when he is accused of stealing, Suzette must use her knowledge of both French and Ojibwa ways to find the real thief.
General Note:
"American girl."
Reading Level:
660 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 5.0 50166.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.1 9 Quiz: 22612.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Series
X Juvenile Fiction Series
X Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



These suspenseful stories will leave readers on the edge of their seats! Each spine-tingling tale features a brave, clever girl solving an intriguing mystery at an important time in America's past.

In 1732, Suzette's father, a French voyageur, is accused of theft. She must use both sides of her heritage -- her Ojibwa skills in the woods and her ability to read and speak French -- to clear his name.

Author Notes

Kathleen Ernst received a degree in forestry from West Virginia University. Before becoming a full time writer in 2004, she worked at an outdoor living history museum called Old World Wisconsin for 12 years and as a television writer. Her first published historical fiction novels were The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry and The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg. She has also written numerous American Girl novels including 6 books about Caroline Abbott published in 2012. Her other works include Hearts of Stone, the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series, and the nonfiction book Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. Twelve-year-old Suzette, her Ojibwe mother, and her French voyageur father live on the coast of Lake Superior near the fur trading post at Fort La Pointe. Papa has entered a fur competition and, if he wins, he will be able to spend the entire year with his family instead of wintering in Montreal with the voyageurs. Unfortunately, someone is conspiring against Papa: a bale of furs disappears from the trading post and the evidence suggests that Papa is responsible. Suzette investigates and uncovers the identity of the true thief. Ernst has created a well-plotted mystery, sprinkled judiciously with clues, and she does a commendable job of integrating setting and cultural details into the story. Less convincing is Suzette's determined, independent personality, which, although an essential part of the story, seems out of sync with the novel's early-eighteenth-century backdrop. Still, mystery fans and children who liked other books in the History Mysteries series are sure to enjoy this, and probably pick up a little history along the way. --Kay Weisman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Suzanne Choudoir has lived all of her 12 years with her mother's Ojibwe people in what is now northern Wisconsin. They summer on La Pointe Island on Lake Superior in a large camp and winter on the mainland in small family groups. Suzanne's father is a voyageur, a white man hired by the French fur-trading companies to collect the furs trapped during the winter and bring them back to Montreal. This year, from the moment Suzanne's family sets out for La Pointe there is trouble, culminating in her father being accused of stealing. Only Suzanne believes in his innocence, and in a series of daring acts and deductions that seem improbable if not impossible, she clears his name, enabling him to buy out his contract and stay with his family year-round. The "Looking Back: 1732" section is filled with facts, small full-color photos, and a map. However, the mystery just isn't very interesting or suspenseful and the historical part lacks a sense of authenticity. Steer young readers to more informative books about the Colonial period and more exciting mysteries, both of which will prove ultimately more satisfying.-Carrie Schadle, Beginning with Children School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.