Writing from a young woman’s perspective, Newbery Medalist Avi brings California’s Gold Rush to life in this historical adventure. Thirteen-year-old Victoria (Tory) is tired of stifling social conventions in 19th-century Providence, R.I. When her father and younger brother, Jacob, leave for San Francisco, where they plan to find a fortune, she escapes by stowing away on their ship. Once united, the family is shocked to discover that “the land of glittering gold” is really a filthy place of squalor and crime. Left alone to care for Jacob while her father works in the gold fields, Tory casts aside restrictive gender roles, dressing like a boy, working odd jobs, and spending time with her new friend, Thad. She enjoys her freedom until Jacob disappears while she’s out, and she fears that he’s been kidnapped. Desperate to find Jacob, Tory follows every path, despite the risks. Containing strong feminist themes, this fast-paced tale vividly contrasts the wildness of 19th-century San Francisco with stuffier New England. Tory is a brave yet naive protagonist, who makes a number of mistakes before proving herself a hero, and her dangerous encounters with unscrupulous villains provide nonstop excitement and suspense. Ages 10–14. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/09/2020 Release date: 03/10/2020 Genre: Children's
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