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NEWSGIRL by Liza Ketchum


by Liza Ketchum

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-01119-3
Publisher: Viking

Amelia arrives in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush with her mother and Estelle, the two parents in her family. She has never known her father, and immediately readers are made aware of the widespread condemnation their household received back in Boston. The realities and uncertainties plaguing the burgeoning community fall heavily on her family unit, one familiar today and likely as familiar then, if seldom chronicled. Amelia finds dresses and expectations of ladylike behavior constricting and immediately tries to succeed selling newspapers in competition with the boys. While Amelia gets into trouble as fast as she tries to get out of it, she is nevertheless a sympathetic character. An inadvertent balloon trip broadens her horizons as her vulnerability to danger increases. Gradually she comes to accept her new surroundings and realizes the love her mother and Estelle have for her. Countless novels that have gone before have explored the emotional territory of an absent parent within the context of an upheaval in history, but this is notable for exploring an alternative family structure in an historical setting. (Historical fiction. 10 & up)