<empty> <empty>
spacer <empty> Home Books Author Teacher Resources News Contact <empty> spacer
  Maiden of The Mist spacer
  Read An Excerpt spacer
  Maiden On Stage spacer
  Return to Books spacer
spacer spacer spacer

Maiden of the Mist: A Legend of Niagara Falls
Written & Illustrated by Veronika Martenova Charles

Long ago, a Seneca tribe lived on the Niagara River, just upstream from a great waterfall. With plenty of fish and crops to feed them, life was good in their village. Then a sickness came to the people, and everything changed. As the situation worsened and people died, Lelawala, the chief’s daughter, came up with a plan to help. She would go to the thunder god, Hinu, and find out why he wouldn’t help her people. But to do that, Lelawala would have to go to his home under the great falls, and never return.


• Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" Award 2002
• Storytelling World Award, Honour Title, 2002

Quill & Quire
"Making a human sacrifice palatable for children is a daunting task made even more challenging if the sacrificial victim is also the story’s protagonist. But in Maiden of the Mist Veronika Martenova Charles' meets this challenge, successfully combining the flavour of the original traditional Iroquois tale with contemporary readers' expectations of a strong heroine."

…Charles's retelling focuses on the heroine's strength of character and the action she takes to save her community. In an author's note that's particularly useful for educators, she describes the history of the legend and how her version differs, situating herself as one of many non-native tellers' of this tale. Charles has managed to retain the oral feel of the story in her written narrative…

The exciting drama of Lelawala's trip over the falls, and the engaging and realistic illustrations that show Charles's careful research, will keep young readers’ interest.”

Books In Canada
“Veronika Charles has an affinity with folk tales. Stories originating from many different parts of the world seem to have attracted her interest throughout her career. … What Charles attempts to do in this telling is imbue the heroine with self-determination and courage, rather than passivity. She avoids being maudlin by emphasizing the choices Lelawala makes toward living a “new life” rather than ending her life. … The story is well-paced and the ending is subdued but honest and satisfying.”

Toronto Star
“Great for kids 7 and older”

The Standard (St Catherines)
“…gracefully written & illustrated by Veronika Martenova Charles. Despite the fact that this is a short picture book for ages five to nine, Charles succeeds in giving her characters depth.”

Hamilton Spectator
“[Charles] has illustrated her story with depth, her intricate lines and colours contributing to the high emotion of the tale. And she tells Lelawala’s story in direct prose with a poetic lyricism that adds to the depth of the story”

click to enlarge

Published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Cover artwork used with permission.
All rights reserved.

spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
© copyright Veronika Martenova Charles. Artwork used by permission. Website by Hoffworks