Friday, February 8, 2013

The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas

It is 1863 and Emily Blue Hatchett has been told by her father that, come spring, their family will leave their farm, family and friends in Quincy Illinois and travel the Overland Trail to a new home in Golden, Colorado. Emmy and her mom have mixed feelings about the trip and are saddened by all they must leave behind.

When Emmy s grandmother comes to say goodbye, she gives Emmy a special gift, something to occupy her time along the trail.

The journey by wagon train is long and full of hardships and Emmy s experiences along the way bring the period of westward expansion, as well as issues facing women, to life for young readers.


New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Sandra Dallas brings her much-admired storytelling talent to middle-grade readers for the first time. She is the author of eleven adult novels as well as ten nonfiction books. Sandra s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films. Sandra is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award.


About the Author:

Award-winning author SANDRA DALLAS was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff member for twenty-five years (and the magazine’s first female bureau chief,) she covered the Rocky Mountain region, writing about everything from penny-stock scandals to hard-rock mining, western energy development to contemporary polygamy. Many of her experiences have been incorporated into her novels.

While a reporter, she began writing the first of ten nonfiction books. They include Sacred Paint, which won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award, and The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Assn. Benjamin Franklin Award.

Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published eight novels, including Prayers For Sale. Sandra is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award, for The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. In addition, she was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Assn. Award, and a four-time finalist for the Women Writing the West Willa Award.

The mother of two daughters—Dana is an attorney in New Orleans and Povy is a photographer in Golden, Colorado—Sandra lives in Denver with her husband, Bob.

My Thoughts:

I thought this was just an adorable story and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend to my younger middle school students without reservation.  I have fallen in love with the book, the story, the characters and this author!

What I liked most about this book was how perceptive Emmy Blue was.  She was such a cute character and I loved that she was so tough on the outside but showed so much vulnerability on the inside.  Her story is endearing and readers will connect immediately with her as a character.

I think the author peppered JUST enough historical detail in this story to make it interesting.  Students studying this time period in history could use this as a great piece of historical fiction to give them a great visual of what life on the trail was like.

The only suggestion I would have is that I really needed to hear what became of the little boy who suffered the snake bit and turned back for home.  A letter, a package, something to let readers know what became of him!  But then again, I am a sucker for a little mystery in a story!

Happy Reading!
 

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