cover image The Quilt Walk

The Quilt Walk

Sandra Dallas. Sleeping Bear, $18.95 (216p) ISBN 978-1-58536-800-6

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%E2%80%94witnessing accidents, death, and birth at close hand%E2%80%94Emmy 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%E2%80%93up. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Sept.)