In this "timeless and richly comic coming-of-age story" by Newbery medalist Karen Cushman, Lucy Whipple, a city-bred Easterner brought to rough-and-tumble Gold Rush California, has to reinvent herself as part of the rugged gold mining community. (Kirkus, starred)
In 1849 a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town. There Lucy helps run a boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to return "home."
"Cushman’s heroine is a delightful character, and the historical setting is authentically portrayed. Lucy’s story, as the author points out in her end notes, is the story of many pioneer women who exhibited great strength and courage as they helped to settle the West."
School Library Journal, Starred
"The recent Newbery medalist plunks down two more strong-minded women, this time in an 1849 mining camp—a milieu far removed from the Middle Ages of her first novels, but not all that different when it comes to living standards. . . . With a story that is less a period piece than a timeless and richly comic coming-of-age story, Cushman remains on a roll."
Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
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