This is a short, deceptively simply written tale of Isaac, a 10-year-old Choctaw who dies while on the Trail of Tears, the forcible removal of more than 60,000 Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi River.
He and his family are ripped from his home, when soldiers burn everything. His mother keeps him safe from the small-pox imbued blankets. He doesn't freeze to death, unlike others who are not so fortunate. Along the way he makes some extraordinary friends and has his trusty dog, Jumper, always with him.
Even once he is a ghost (and I won't spoil how he dies, you'll have to read to figure that out), he continues to look over his family and people, and helps rescue a young girl from being held captive and forced to work for US soldiers.
Teacher's Note: While this is a great, diverse fiction resource to have on your bookshelf, I couldn't find any free teaching resources for it. Yes, TpT has many for sale, but FREE and generally publisher, author or fellow teacher generated are the kinds of resources I look for to be able to recommend it for teachers. So while I heartily recommend this book for your classroom shelves, if you've never taught it before, and don't have additional money to teach (beyond spending on a classroom set of 35-40 copies), I'm not recommending it in Teachers.