The Misadventures of Maude March, Or, Trouble Rides a Fast Horse: Or Trouble Rides a Fast Horse
The Misadventures of Maude March, Or, Trouble Rides a Fast Horse: Or Trouble Rides a Fast Horse
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Annotation: After the death of the stern aunt who raised them since they were orphaned, eleven-year-old Sallie and her fifteen-year-old sister escape their self-serving guardians and begin an adventure resembling those in the dime novels Sallie loves to read.
Catalog Number: #2090
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Dell Yearling
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition Date: 2007
Pages: 290 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-375-83247-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-06059-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-375-83247-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-06059-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2004016464
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Eleven-year-old orphan Sallie March narrates this involving tale of Wild West adventure. When she and her sister Maude set out to find their last remaining relative, a string of coincidences and errors makes outlaws of the girls. The book's humor arises from the contrast between the sobriety of Sallie's voice and the frenetic action.
Kirkus Reviews
"Some days it isn't even a good idea to get out of bed," muttered Aunt Ruthie as she stepped out of the mercantile. Just then, a bullet hits her in the heart and kills her, leaving 11-year-old Sallie and 15-year-old Maude orphans once again. Soon thereafter, the sisters are headed west, about to live the adventures Sallie had read about in her dime novels. They are involved in a bank robbery, struck by a headless rattlesnake, attacked by a mountain lion and forced to be on the run when wanted posters featuring "Mad Maude" begin appearing in the newspapers. What a pleasure to read something just for the sheer fun of the storytelling. Sallie's fresh and feisty voice, girls dressed as boys, an outlaw with a heart of gold, adventure and humor add up to great family entertainment. (Fiction. 9+)
Publishers Weekly

Trying her hand at a new genre of fiction, Coloumbis (Getting Near to Baby) offers a rip-roaring Western as full of wild escapades as the dime novels of old, which her protagonist is so fond of reading. Orphans 11-year-old Sallie (who narrates) and her older sister, Maude, live with their aunt Ruthie until the day a stray bullet strikes her dead. After a brief stay with the preacher (who is bent on marrying off Maude to a "grandfatherly sort of man"), the girls decide to head west down the Oregon Trail to find their only living relative, Uncle Arlen. It doesn't take long for the girls to meet up with Aunt Ruthie's murderer, Joe Harden, who is also a dime novel author, and who turns out to be a fairly decent fellow despite the fact he's running from the law. He manages to get the girls involved in horse thievery, a bank robbery and a shootout (in which Sallie proves herself to be handy enough with a gun). Due to a series of newspaper articles, Maude gets most of the credit and soon becomes known as Mad Maude March, "a hardened criminal." Featuring equal doses of comedy and adventure, this novel written with broad strokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary about pioneer life is sure to rustle up a new herd of fans for Couloumbis. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Sallie March, 11, devotee of dime novels, narrates this rollicking Wild West adventure. The irrepressible tomboy and her ladylike older sister, Maude, have been living in Cedar Rapids with their stern Aunt Ruthie since their parents died. When she is shot dead by a random bullet, Reverend Peasley takes the girls in, but works them like servants. Then grandfatherly Mr. Wilburn proposes to Maude, and it's the last straw. The sisters take two horses and head to Independence, MO, in hopes of finding their uncle. They disguise themselves as boys and begin to live as dime-novel heroes, hooking up with Marion Hardly, aka Joe Harden (the Joe Harden, of the dimer series?), who is also their aunt's killer. Although the girls' intentions are never bad, they end up in the midst of a bank robbery and committing murder. The newspapers are full of news of Mad Maude March, gone crazy with grief. All ends well as they make it to Missouri, where everyone has a reputation anyway. Sallie's narration is delightful, with understatements that are laugh-out-loud hilarious. While this novel at first seems a departure for Couloumbis, there are many similarities to Getting Near to Baby (1999) and Say Yes (2002, both Putnam). Her strong females are memorable, largely due to her perfect pitch in conveying their unique voices. Hard to put down, and a fun read-aloud.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 72,515
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 101209 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.1 / points:17.0 / quiz:Q37524
Lexile: 810L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W

The heat was awful.

The breeze, when we got one, felt like it came out of an oven. Aunt Ruthie hoped to take our minds off
our misery by taking us to town. Even in the dim cool of the mercantile, sweat made our clothing cling to
our skin.

My dress was the worst, made out of some kind of muslin that got itchy once it stuck to me. Every two
minutes, Aunt Ruthie would say, "Stop scratching, Sallie, it isn't polite."

The shooting didn't start until we'd stepped outside of the mercantile. The screen door whacked shut
behind us, and we were greeted by a volley of shots. It was stunning really. Then it was scary. The noise
was too great to take it all in at once.

It's strange the way time stretched in that moment and seemed to go on forever. The entire morning
passed through my mind, starting when my older sister Maude ate my biscuit with jelly that I had left over
from breakfast.

When I complained there were no more biscuits, and that was the last of the black currant jelly, she said,
"If you wanted it, you shouldn't have left it laying around." So while Aunt Ruthie said it was the heat, I
knew it was that biscuit that had me squabbling with Maude all day.

As we neared the barber shop, walking to town, Maude pulled Aunt Ruthie toward a stone bench, saying,
"You're tiring yourself. Come sit down for a minute," and I dragged on Aunt Ruthie's other arm, saying, "It
gets too hot to sit on that rock in the sun. Let's go someplace cooler."

Aunt Ruthie said, "I've had enough of being pulled apart."

In the mercantile, she showed her teeth at us and whispered, "You are to keep your distance, both of
you. I don't care to listen to you bicker for another minute." We promised to be good. To this, she said,
"Stay over there by the farm goods."

In these aisles, there were only smelly jars of lanolin and herbal salves to examine, and such things as
curative oils for ear mites and wireworm to avoid, having nasty little pictures of the ills on the side of the
bottles. This bothered me so bad that I pulled a dimer out of my pocket and set to reading it instead.

But Aunt Ruthie was right in sending us there. It was not two minutes before Maude started up again.
She told me that Joe Harden Frontier Fighter, was never a real man. "Those books weren't meant for girls
to read, either," she said.

"How would you know?" I said to her. Maude didn't like for me to read dime novels. Sad to say, Maude
thought dimers were a waste of learning how to read.

"It's just a made-up name for made-up stories out of books," she said. "Boys probably look up to him, but
Joe Harden is just a story figure."

"Like David?" I asked her.

"David who?"

"David who slew Goliath. Is he made up?"

"Of course not, Sallie," Maude said. "What a terrible thing to say. Don't you let Aunt Ruthie hear you talk
like that."

I didn't think Aunt Ruthie would care all that much. She hardly ever cared about anything but whether the
work was done right. Maude was the one who cared about such things.

Maude and me were orphaned when our folks took sick with the fever. Aunt Ruthie had already started
out from Philadelphia to come live with us and teach school. By the time she got to Cedar Rapids, Aunt
Ruthie had to take us in. Or rather, we took her in, and she took care of us.

I'm forgetting Uncle Arlen. He was Aunt Ruthie's, and Momma's, younger brother, but he had gone west
not long after our folks died, and we had not heard from him in years. So he didn't count as kin. Aunt
Ruthie herself said he was as good as dead to us.

She felt he ought to have stayed around to help her raise us, I guess. Around the middle of winter,

Excerpted from The Misadventures of Maude March: Or Trouble Rides a Fast Horse by Audrey Couloumbis
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Eleven-year-old Sallie March is a whip-smart tomboy and voracious reader of Western adventure novels. When she and her sister Maude escape their self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier, they begin an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about. This time however, the "wanted woman" isn't a dime-novel villian, it's Sallie's very own sister! What follows is not the lies the papers printed, but the honest-to-goodness truth of how two sisters went from being orphans to being outlaws—and lived to tell the tale!

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