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HOPE'S CROSSING by Joan Elizabeth Goodman


by Joan Elizabeth Goodman

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-86195-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

In a historical novel that, in the wake of Goodman’s Winter Hare (1996), seems tepid, Tory kidnappers bundle a Connecticut patriot’s daughter over the Sound to Long Island, where she endures mistreatment before undertaking the arduous journey home. Seized in lieu of her father, away on business for General Washington, Hope escapes before she can be sold to a slave trader, and with her captor’s aged mother, Maude, makes her way to a war-torn but bustling New York City. Unfortunately, bands of raiders have brought northbound travel to a standstill. Hope frets over the protracted delay, fearing her pursuers, but then smallpox strikes. Hope loses her dear companion, and almost dies herself; after a long convalescence in the care of a British officer’s wife, she again escapes, and a crusty old suitor of Maude’s sails her across enemy lines to a happy reunion with her family. Hope’s path is smoothed by plenty of adult friends, plus a convenient stash of family silver to cover expenses, and neither Goodman’s sketchy descriptions of Revolutionary War—era New York, nor her characters, who are either types or quirky to the point of impenetrability, contribute to the sense of time and place; still, although she is not the most self-reliant of heroines, Hope faces and overcomes her own fears’specifically her terror of heights—as well as physical hazards in the course of her journey back. (Fiction. 10-13)