BOOM TOWN by Sonia Levitin

BOOM TOWN

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The companion to the credibility-straining Nine for California (1996), this is a deeply satisfying story starring a resourceful heroine whose real-life counterpart is mentioned in a tiny historical footnote. Amanda and her family settle in a cabin while her father trudges off each week to prospect for gold. Even with a tumble of siblings, though, Amanda is bored until she figures out a way to do what she loves best: bake a pie. When Pa comes home and says he made 25 cents a slice from her gooseberry pie, Amanda begins to bake in earnest. But that's not all she does. She convinces a peddler to set up a trading post, encourages a prospector to open a laundry, and a cowboy to set up a livery stable. The town grows, enough for Pa to go into business with his daughter and for Amanda to think about schooling as well as pie. Smith's detailed watercolors are full of charm: Amanda's red ribbons match her gingham dress, a baby sister sleeps on a ferocious- looking bearskin rug in the cabin, and expressive, cartoony characters festoon the western landscape. It's fun to watch the town grow, spread by spread, and a map and a recipe for gooseberry pie grace the endpapers. Levitin and Smith provide a grand look at the hows and whys behind a town's growth; of course it didn't happen exactly this way--but it might have. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-531-30043-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1998




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