DESPERATE JOURNEY by Jim Murphy

DESPERATE JOURNEY

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

The Erie Canal was “one of the greatest engineering feats in the history of the world,” a highway for settlers heading west and a route from the Great Lakes across New York state to Albany and on to New York City. For 12-year-old Maggie Haggerty, it’s a route to a new life, preparing her for a future in the wide world. When her father is arrested for an alleged assault, Maggie takes responsibility for getting a shipment to Buffalo and proves herself to her family. In the process, she finds that the life she wanted to run away from is really the life for her. The canal, however, is the real main character here, and since the final section titled “About the Erie Canal” is the most interesting part of the volume, fans of Murphy’s nonfiction might wish he had gone with a nonfiction treatment of the subject. All in all, though, this is a well-written story about a little-known part of American history. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-07806-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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