LEAVING ELDORADO by Joann Mazzio

LEAVING ELDORADO

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Making a fine bid for the late Patricia Beatty's territory, Mazzio (The One Who Came Back, 1992) depicts a feisty turn-of- the-century girl making her way after her prospector dad leaves her in New Mexico and sets out for the Yukon. In letters addressed to her recently deceased mother, Maude, 14, describes her difficulties: penniless, hungry, cold, and in rags, she finds that just getting clean enough to qualify for work at the local hotel is a major struggle. Though Mrs. Steckler, her employer, is hard and unsympathetic, she treats Maude better than she does Annie, an Apache girl she has raised like a slave. Maude has much to learn, especially about the ``soiled doves'' who are allotted their own shopping hours so that proper folks won't encounter them; meanwhile, she's pressured to marry a nice but taciturn farmer twice her age, but yearns to realize her artistic talent instead. Good luck and Maude's honesty, generosity, and determination all contribute to the satisfying outcome--achieved after the foiling of a vicious attack on Annie, an unjust accusation from Mrs. Steckler, a heroic rescue by Maude, and a final surprise enabling the girls to depart together. A spirited adventure with deftly drawn characters, well-integrated period details, a lively and sharply focused style, and a memorable heroine. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-64381-3
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993