Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki
Not to be confused with "Standing in the Light" (film).

"The Lenape are my neighbors. Sitting here peacefully, I feel a current of God's love running through this life, though He is known here by a different name."
Catharine Logan[2]

Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan is an entry in the Dear America series. It was written by Mary Pope Osborne and first published in September 1998 by Scholastic. The book was republished in May 2011 with new cover art. A television film based on the book was released in 1999. It was followed by Voyage on the Great Titanic.

Catharine Logan and her brother Thomas are captured by Lenape Indians in 1764.


"For my mother"

Book description[]

"Something strange happened to me today, Papa. Without warning, I began to say all my thoughts out loud. And many of them were most bitter. It happened when I was walking behind the hunter with the eagle painted on his cheek... suddenly my wrath poured out like fire. I told him that I was not a savage like him and the others! I told him that... I despise everything about him and his people....
He did not turn back even once to look at me, nor to command me to be silent. Indeed, I began to wonder if he had heard me at all. Then I wondered if I had even spoken. Was I only thinking these venomous thoughts?
I fear I am going mad, Papa. Perhaps invisible too. Worse of all, my ink is nearly for certain, I will totally disappear.

"My name is Catharine. This is my story....
After the peacefulness of Catharine Carey Logan's Quaker community is rocked by terrible attacks against the Delaware Indians, the unthinkable happens: The Lenape take Catharine and her brother captive in retaliation for the violence. Fearing for her life, Catharine is frightened by the "savages." Yet as time passes, a young warrior named Snow Hunter tries to teach her about his people and their ways. Catharine begins to find her place with the Lenape, and to fall in love. But when English soldiers threaten to destroy the Lenape and all that Catharine has come to care for, she must reach deep within herself to remain brave.


Catharine Logan is given a diary by her father in November 1763. She writes about her day-to-day life in her small Quaker community. The family hears reports of attacks by Indians, which frightens Catharine and her mother. Her father feels sympathy for the Indians, and insists that "if we treat [them] fairly, they will treat us fairly." He puts his trust in God and starts to leave their front door unlocked. Catharine believes him to be "trifling with [their] safety," but does not say anything to him. Her worries continue to plague her daily.

In January, Catharine and her younger brother Thomas are captured by Lenape Indians. She continues to write in her diary as they are travelling, but loses track of the date. Catharine and Thomas are brought to a hut occupied by an old woman and her daughter, White Owl and Little Cloud. The next day, Thomas is taken away. In a ceremony, White Owl adopts Catharine, who is renamed "Chilili" (or Snow Bird). Catharine becomes despondent, fearing that she will never see Thomas again. Meanwhile, she is tasked to help a hunter check traps regularly. Catharine takes to yelling her frustrations at him, though he never replies.

Catharine begins dreaming of Thomas being on the other side of the hill. One day, she nearly falls in the river while trying to cross it. The hunter saves her. He surprise her by revealing "[he] was English once." Catharine begins regularly asking him about Thomas's whereabouts. She then dreams about Thomas being sick. The hunter aptly named Snow Hunter agrees to take her to see him. Thomas's adoptive father allows him to go with Catharine. White Owl and Little Cloud nurse Thomas back to health.

Over the next few months, Catharine grows to regard White Owl and Little Cloud as family. She also becomes close to Snow Hunter. He admits his love for her, before setting off on a hunting party. She realizes that she feels the same. The hunting party never returns. Some days later, the village is attacked by white soldiers. Catharine and Thomas are taken back to their family. She is unable to relate to her friends and family and even wishes to no longer live. However, after sharing her diary with her father, she finds comforts in his words that she "stood in the light."


Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Standing in the Light characters
  • Catharine Logan is a thirteen-year-old Quaker. She and her brother are captured by the Lenape. Catharine refuses to adapt to their ways until Snow Hunter helps find her brother.
  • Snow Hunter, a Lenape hunter. He was captured at a young age and now considers himself Lenape. Snow Hunter becomes close to Catharine and her brother.
  • Thomas Logan is Catharine's lively and playful seven-year-old brother. He quickly adapts to his new life with the Lenape, which causes Catharine to feel conflicted.



Cover of the VHS

Main article: Standing in the Light (film)

In 1999, Standing in the Light was adapted into a television film. The film was produced by Scholastic Entertainment and aired on HBO. It was also released on video cassette the same year. Stephanie Anne Mills stars in the film as Catharine.


Main article: Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborne is a children's book author best known for her series, Magic Tree House. She is also the author of My Secret War in Dear America, and the Virginia Dickens trilogy in My America. Osborne first became interested in the Lenape, when she and her husband bought a house in Delaware Valley in the late 1980s. She wrote Standing in the Light there, imagining Catharine's experiences and feelings. Osborne also attended Quaker meetings and visited the site of a Lenape village for research.



"'The author would like to thank The Museum of the American Indian in New York City; The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania; The Quaker Meetinghouse in Quakertown, Pennsylvania; and The Churchville, Pennsylvania. She would also like to thank Tracy Mack for her wonderful editing, Marge Custer at The Churchville Nature Center, Sheila Kogan, Diane Nesin, and Melissa Jenkins."


  • The portrait on the cover of the first edition is a detail of the 1889 painting A Fair Beauty by Herbert Gustave Schmalz. The background is a detail of Edwin Willard Deming's 1903 painting Braddock's Defeat.[6][7]
  • Tim O'Brien illustrated the portrait on the cover of the second edition. The background is also a detail of Braddock's Defeat by Edwin Willard Deming.[8]


See also[]

Arts & Crafts

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]