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Annotation: Twelve-year-old Belle Martin and her family move to Mingo, Colorado, in 1910 when the U.S. government offers 320 acres of land free to homesteaders.
Catalog Number: #157536
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 240 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-585-36375-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-585-36375-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017029809
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Belle is a young eastern Colorado pioneer enthralled by her new home. Her older sister Carrie is not quite as happy e loved their old home in green, heavily settled Iowa. The life of dry-earth farmers in the early 1900s was exceedingly tough, and the family of nine struggles. When illness claims the girls' mother and younger sister, the future seems precarious, especially Carrie's hope to go to college and become a teacher. Plucky Belle, though, won't give up, and a community of disparate settlers lonely hermit, a generous ranching family, a lively bachelorette homesteader mes together to help. Perseverance, that eternal ethos of settler sagas, is personified in Belle, who even schemes at matchmaking. The standard plot points of many pioneer stories are touched on: plagues of locusts, blizzards, and even a solitary bad guy scared off by intrepid heroines. Dallas, a prolific author of adult westerns and a Spur Award winner, has written a story young readers drawn to historical fiction like the Little House series will find satisfying.
Horn Book
The difficult, weather- and nature-dependent life of farming on the Colorado frontier is the theme of this middle-grade novel centered on twelve-year-old Belle, whose family takes part in the government homesteading program in 1910. Reminiscent of the Little House series, hardships are paralleled with the loving support of family and neighbors struggling and succeeding together. Glos.
Kirkus Reviews
A close-knit family endures the rough life of farming in Colorado in the early 20th century.Hail, snow, locusts, sickness, death—the list of setbacks encountered by the Martin family as they try to earn their homestead by farming the dry ground of Colorado is a long one. But they can depend on one another for love and support, and they rely on their friendly neighbors for everything from food when times are especially tight to a helping hand in a snowy emergency. And it's not all hardship. There are fun parties, plans for college, and holiday celebrations. Told from the point of view of 12-year-old Belle, who is pleased to discover that their nearest neighbor is a woman on her own, proving that women can be independent homesteaders, the details of rural American life are rendered with care and precision in Dallas' third novel for children. The story occasionally offers events that feel too convenient and even saccharine, as when neighbor Hans Kruger saves the children from a snowstorm and thus proves himself to be a kind and generous soul, far from the dangerous German immigrant most thought him to be. A white cast of characters populates this book set in the 1910s, with obvious parallels to the Little House series.A traditional addition to the genre of frontier living. (Historical fiction. 9-11)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 44,593
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 501249 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 680L

2019 Wrangler Award for Outstanding Juvenile Book Winner 2019 Spur Award - Western Writer's of America Finalist

In 1910, after losing their farm in Iowa, the Martin family moves to Mingo, Colorado, to start anew. The US government offers 320 acres of land free to homesteaders. All they have to do is live on the land for five years and farm it. So twelve-year-old Belle Martin, along with her mother and six siblings, moves west to join her father. But while the land is free, farming is difficult and it's a hardscrabble life. Natural disasters such as storms and locusts threaten their success. And heartbreaking losses challenge their faith. Do the Martins have what it takes to not only survive but thrive in their new prairie life? Told through the eyes of a twelve-year-old girl, this new middle-grade novel from New York Times-bestselling author Sandra Dallas explores one family's homesteading efforts in 1900s Colorado.

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