When 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett’s father announces that the family will be traveling from their home in Illinois to the frontier town of Golden, Colo., the reaction to the news is as varied as the colors in one of their beloved hand-pieced quilts.
It is 1863, and the Colorado Gold Rush is in full swing. Even with the exciting journey in front of them, Emmy and her parents cannot help mourning what they are forced to leave behind: friends, family, pets—and markers in the cemetery for lost loved ones. However, Emmy’s mother is an example of courage and strength, encouraging everyone around her to see life as an adventure and an opportunity to help others. Indian sightings, deadly snakes, a stray dog, new friends and the dreaded quilting hour all keep Emmy busy as they make the long crossing in their overburdened wagons. Period details, engaging characters and clever plot twists will entice even the most discerning fans of historical fiction. Populated with brave and intelligent women, Dallas’ story is as much about Emmy’s journey toward womanhood as their journey toward the West. Solid writing and a close attention to details make this story more than the sum of its parts.
Finely stitched. (Historical fiction. 8-12)