Adult author Dallas brings her historical fiction skills to a new audience with the story of 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett, as she journeys with her family from their comfortable Illinois farm to the unknown world of the Colorado Territory. A reluctant seamstress, Emmy Blue is excited to leave the life where she is "expected to act like a young lady, to sit and quilt... and to practice my embroidery," to confront the Wild West. But during months of walking beside the oxen with the women and children of the wagon train--witnessing accidents, death, and birth at close hand--Emmy Blue develops a fulfilling facility in quilting and a deep appreciation for the significance of the craft. The structure of a journey with an end in sight creates an effective rhythm, punctuated by the dangers and dramas wrought by natives, rattlesnakes, and the relationships within the diverse group of travelers. Based on a true account of an 1864 wagon-train trip, Dallas's story delivers a satisfying child's-eye view of America's westward expansion. Ages 9-up. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 3-6-Ten-year-old Emmy Blue's life on a farm near Quincy, Illinois, is just fine until her father announces that the family is moving to Colorado where gold is being mined. He hopes to build a store and sell supplies to miners. Emmy's mother, Meggie, is not happy about the move and having to say good-bye to family and friends but, like other women of her time, does as her husband wishes. Emmy's Uncle Will and Aunt Catherine travel west with them. The women take pride in their sewing abilities and try to interest Emmy in the handicraft, but she would rather play marbles with a boy in the wagon train. Later, she takes up quilting and is able to stitch and walk the trail at the same time. This novel is based on a true story, and one of the quilts that the family brought to Colorado is in the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden. Snakes, Indians, wild animals and starvation are always potential threats to the group, but Emmy's family is strong and they do not give up and join the "go-backers." This is a great choice for those who enjoy Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, quilting, and strong girl stories.-Tammy Di Bartolo, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.