by Susan Hammond
Trafford Publishing

"This day would pass as the last two had done, with flies, heat, dust, and sun."

Young Sarah is left with her great aunt Elizabeth after her father goes to fight in the Mexican-American War and her mother and little sister both pass away. Elizabeth teaches Sarah to be a lady, but when the elderly aunt passes on, everything in Sarah's life becomes uncertain. Unable to stay in the manor she has been living in, Sarah only has one option: purchase a horse and wagon and strike out west to find her father in San Diego. Leaving with volunteer soldiers and their families, the journey will be long and difficult for anyone, let alone a young girl on her own. In order to survive, Sarah must learn to make friends and contribute to the group, because without them she has absolutely no other options left to choose.

This book was designed for younger readers both male and female. The book's action and historical subject matter is a welcome companion to the strong, able female lead, giving the audience the best of both worlds. The story itself is fairly short, but leaves itself open for expansion in future installments, and Sarah's story is one that calls for more adventures and chapters. The author's interest in history lends a good deal of accuracy and detail to what Americans had to endure in the earlier days of the country, something that makes the book more authentic and also more interesting. Whether readers want memorable, enjoyable characters, a variety of action and powerful settings, or a peek into the struggle of American life centuries ago, this title will engage and entertain.

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