Bound To Stay Bound

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 Walk on Earth a stranger (Gold Seer Trilogy)
 Author: Carson, Rae

 Publisher:  Greenwillow Books (2015)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 436 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 195016 ISBN: 9780062242914
 Ages: 13-17 Grades: 8-12

 Overland journeys to the Pacific -- Fiction
 Gold -- Fiction
 Magic -- Fiction
 Gold mines and mining -- Fiction
 Disguise -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

Book 1--Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 16.0   Quiz: 177163
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 4.50
   Points: 25.0   Quiz: 69952

   School Library Journal (00/08/15)
   Booklist (+) (08/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/15)
 The Hornbook (00/09/15)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 6 Up—This riveting saga features 15-year-old tomboy Leah, who has an extraordinary talent, the ability to sense when gold is near. She uses this skill to provide for her ailing parents, who live in an isolated part of Dahlonega, GA, the site of the first major U.S. gold rush in the early 1800s. They lead a fairly frugal existence so as not to arouse local suspicions. When her parents are robbed and murdered and her best (and only) friend, a half-white, half-Cherokee boy named Jefferson, leaves Georgia for a new gold rush in California, her world is turned upside down. To make matters worse, a nefarious uncle comes to claim her parents' property and use her gold-seeking skills for ill intent. Disguised as a boy, she leaves the only home she's ever known to reunite with Jefferson and join a wagon train. Lee, as she calls herself, is a smart, feisty, and likable protagonist who encounters all the hardships one would expect on the arduous journey West—illness, injury, hunger, exposure to extreme weather, and buffalo stampedes. All the while, she knows her uncle will stop at nothing to hunt her down. At the crux of the story is Leah's dilemma of keeping her gender and talent a secret from those to whom she becomes close. The time period rings true through Carson's skillful use of language and attention to detail. VERDICT Though the wagon train adventure is slightly cliché, the fast-paced plot, a hint of mild romance, and the added element of fantasy make this stand out from your average Gold Rush story.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 08/01/2015 *Starred Review* Leah Westfall (known as Lee McCauley when she is disguised as a boy) can sense gold, a talent both valuable and dangerous. After her parents are murdered and their gold stolen, and her uncle Hiram makes known his less-than-honorable intentions, she heads west from her Georgia home, hoping to meet up with her best friend Jefferson in Independence. Their plan is to travel to California, but it’s a horrible, tedious journey lightened by gradually developing friendships between Leah and her wagon mates and the slowly blossoming romance with Jefferson. There’s a lot going on here, from slavery, animal cruelty, and Indian bashing to heart-stopping medical procedures and gender and class issues. But Carson is known for her world building and strong female characters, and she handles everything with carefully constructed, well-researched aplomb. It’s a book that illuminates an important segment of American history as effectively as some textbooks, sustaining YA interest through adventure, fantasy, and romance. With Leah’s journey to California complete and the quest for gold just begun, readers can anticipate more of the same in the second of Carson’s planned trilogy. Until then, this offers plenty on which to ruminate. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

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