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book reviews

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman

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California Morning Whipple is not interested in moving clear across the country in the back of a wagon. She doesn’t want to go to her namesake territory. She doesn’t want to live in the midst of the gold rush. She’s ready to catch the next wagon back East to her grandparents’ house in civilized Massachusetts, where there’s a proper town with proper buildings and a proper lending library, thank you very much.


But as the characters populating Lucky Diggins, California, work their way into her home—and her heart—call-my-Lucy Whipple slowly starts to change her mind. There’s one thing we’re certain about, though: Karen Cushman’s historical fiction about a girl fighting to adapt to the American West is a classic you’ll want to read. Trust us, crack this baby open and you won’t be putting it down anytime soon.


After the death of her husband and youngest child, Lucy’s mama moves her and her three siblings as far west as they can get. Seeking gold that was supposedly laying on the ground, the family arrives to a town of mud and tents and savage gold miners. As the independent Lucy changes her name in rebellion, mama sets up shop running a boarding house. And slowly, things start to change for California Morning Whipple.


Grab The Ballad of Lucy Whipple right here or at your local bookseller, then come back and tell us what you think.

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published April 01, 2014
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