An expertly constructed feeling for time and place distinguishes this eventful tale of a 13-year-old New Hampshire boy's dangerous winter journey. With his father laid up with a broken leg, it's up to Cutting Favour to haul a load of shingles, furs, and other goods to Salem, sell them, and get home before his family starves. Cutting also has to contend with several unsavory characters who are after both his hard-won profits and his life. Fortunately, his cheerful self-reliance is equal to most of the challenges, and he's lucky in his allies: Sam Adams (a cat) and pretty Selina Shuckford (a reluctantly accepted passenger) repeatedly save his bacon. Brady combines a nonstop plot, shot through with danger and humor; generous, intelligent, independent characters (especially the women); and plenty of engrossing, authentic details--all wrapped up in that sense of high adventure found in the best historical fiction. A brief bibliography and a helpful glossary are appended.