PRAIRIE WHISPERS by Frances Arrington


Age Range: 10 - 14
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There’s mystery beneath the quiet prairie vistas. Colleen McCall’s mother gives birth to a stillborn, but the mother is too sick to know what’s going on, and her husband is away. Over by the ravine there’s a covered wagon and a dying woman who has just given birth. “Dear Kind Stranger,” the woman writes in a note that Colleen hides under her mattress, “Please take my baby and love her.” Colleen switches the babies, and her mother’s is buried along with the unknown dead woman. Colleen means to tell what happened, but can’t quite do it and the woman’s husband shows up asking questions. Inspired by Harvey Dunn’s painting In Search of the Land of Milk and Honey, Arrington has created a memorable mystery set in the prairie in the 1860s, as the Civil War rages in the East. The spare, sensory language is a perfect match for the landscape it describes and Colleen’s interior voice is exactly right for her frenzied state of mind. A truly engaging story. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23975-8
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2003


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