WILD RIDE TO HEAVEN by Leander Watts


Age Range: 11 - 14
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A shunned 14-year-old girl with different-colored eyes and a poetic first-person voice is sold to two brutish brothers in early tenth-century backwoods New York. Hannah’s father is often drunk and sometimes crazy, but although he’s not affectionate, the family of two does well together until his lust for treasure prompts him to trade Hannah for a hundred dollars. Her role as a drudge is unpleasant, but her sudden discovery that one of the brothers means to marry her is intolerable. Escaping into the woods with the help of an albino boy with a “liquid quality,” Hannah finds friendship—but only short-lived safety. The brothers hunt them down, and in a potentially violent confrontation, Hannah’s father redeems himself and persuades her owners to burn up her contract. The ending is too easy and the narrative references to Indians careless, but Hannah’s voice is both lyrical and straightforward. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-26805-7
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003


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