In 1852 the Wetherby family leaves Tennessee to set off for Texas--a land of opportunity for some, the site of disaster for others. Jericho, small for his 11 years and timid, narrates a journey marked by struggles with muddy roads and snowstorms. He also relates his own journey toward self-reliance, as he learns to cross bridges without fear and helps his younger brother do the same. As Jericho's taciturn father uncharacteristically expounds to him at the end of the trail, ``A journey tests the makings of a man.'' Drawing from an actual settler's diary, Wisler ( Red Cap ) provides plenty of detail, from toll-road overcharging to horse-doctoring with spirits of turpentine. Though flawed by the characterization of older sister Mary Jane as a single-minded shrew, this otherwise sound, traditional historical fiction furnishes a ground-level view of western expansion. Ages 10-14. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993 Release date: 08/01/1993 Genre: Children's
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