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THE VOYAGE OF THE CONTINENTAL by Katherine Kirkpatrick


by Katherine Kirkpatrick

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1580-5
Publisher: Holiday House

In 1865 orphans were given few choices in life, but 16-year-old Emeline finds the courage to make a journey that promises to change the course of hers forever. After working for three years in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, Emeline is anxious for a change, so when Asa Mercer announces that he will be traveling with orphans and war widows for the distant port of Seattle, she eagerly signs up. Her trusting nature initially hides the truth about the voyage, but soon she realizes that being a “Mercer Girl” might not be what she initially thought. A long and hard journey around the tip of South America leaves plenty of time for intrigue, romance, and mystery as the passengers and crew begin to become acquainted with one another. The adventure does not end when they dock on the west coast; instead Emeline learns that Asa has attempted to finance this trip on the other end by selling the Mercer Girls as brides to lonely settlers. Written in the form of a diary, Emeline and her adventures come alive; only a few missteps in the length and pace of the narrative detract from its appeal. A lively look at a slice of American history. (Historical fiction. 12-15)