The Year We Were Famous

Carole Estby Dagg, Clarion, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-618-99983-5
Debut author Dagg writes a captivating story about the determination of a mother and daughter, who in 1896 walked from Washington State to New York City. Bright, hard-working 17-year-old Clara dreads settling down with the steady but lackluster boy wooing her. Inspired by Nellie Bly's trip around the world, Clara's free-spirited but unreliable mother suggests that they walk nearly 4,000 miles to save their farm from foreclosure (a publisher offers them a $10,000 advance if they make it in seven months) and bring attention to the suffragist movement. Basing her story on the real-life journey her great-aunt and great-grandmother undertook, Dagg masterfully recreates the wild adventures and hardships the women faced, including encounters with Native Americans, a harrowing escape from a raging flood, and a frightening scuffle with a menacing attacker. The pages go by quickly, as the two must continually find food and shelter, relying on each other and the kindness of strangers to survive. The journey in itself is amazing, but Dagg's tender portrayal of a mother and daughter who learn to appreciate and forgive each other makes it unforgettable. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-547-57406-6
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