JOURNEY CAKE by Isabel McLennan McMeekin
Kirkus Star


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This is the winner of the Julia Ellsworth Ford Foundation 1942 Annual Contest. Good Americana, this story of the staunch free colored woman who took six motherless children across the Wilderness Trail, as the father had gone ahead to prepare a home near the Boonesborough settlement. They had to sneak away from Yadkin Valley, for Eli, the Negress' husband, had made things difficult, but they were grimly determined to make their way through the wilderness. Juba, the Negress, had support from the older children Rodney, Kate and Dulcy, while the three younger followed gamely where their elders led. At last a halfway settlement of a few houses offered them rest and a chance to trade the one remaining ox for pack horses; to take their part in wedding festivities; to learn to know and love Johnny Appleseed; to watch and pattern their ways on those who were established pioneers. There was also an exciting cougar hunt in which Rodney distinguished himself. At the close there was an Indian attack which was just saved from tragedy by the sudden appearance of the father. A good story with an abrupt and rather sentimental shift of pace and purpose at the end.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1942
Publisher: Messner