High-spirited young Jane is excited to be part of Mr. Mercer’s plan to bring Civil War widows and orphans to Washington Territory—but life out west isn’t at all what she expects in this novel that’s perfect for fans of Avi and Little House on the Prairie.
Washington Territory is just the place for men of broad mind and sturdy constitution—and girls too, Jane figures, or Mr. Mercer wouldn’t have allowed her to come on his expedition to bring unmarried girls and Civil War widows out west.
Jane’s constitution is sturdy enough. She’s been taking care of her baby brother ever since Papa was killed in the war and her young stepmother had to start working long days at the mill. The problem, she fears, is her mind. It might not be suitably broad because she had to leave school to take care of little Jer. Still, a new life awaits in Washington Territory, and Jane plans to make the best of it.
Except Seattle doesn’t turn out to be quite as advertised. In this rough-and-tumble frontier town, Jane is going to need every bit of that broad mind and sturdy constitution—not to mention a good sense of humor and a stubborn streak a mile wide.
J. Anderson Coats has master’s degrees in history and library science and has published short stories in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She is the author of the acclaimed novels The Wicked and the Just, The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming, R Is for Rebel, The Green Children of Woolpit, and The Night Ride. She lives with her family in Washington State. Visit her at JAndersonCoats.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (February 28, 2017)
* “The strength of the novel comes from its characterization, especially Jane's, whose point of view becomes more reliable as she matures. This one's a keeper.”
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Coats . . . shows considerable versatility in creating very different but equally vivid historical settings and characters. . . . A rewarding chapter book for historical fiction fans.”
“Readers will enjoy the twists and turns of the young protagonist’s life in this fast-paced novel. . . . Fans of Avi’s historical fiction and graduates of Little House on the Prairie will find this a satisfying read.”