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27 October 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger (Goldscryer #1)

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson is the first book in her Goldscryer series - a historical fiction series of the California Gold Rush in which the main character can sense gold around her.

Leah Westfall, 15, lives with her parents in Dalhonega, Georgia. She helps her father work the land, search for gold and hunt for their food. While most of the jobs she does are not what the other girls in town would do, she is happy with her family - and her best friend Jefferson McCauley.

Before school, Jefferson comes up to her with a flyer. Gold has been discovered in California - enough gold to report across the nation. And Jefferson wants to go make his fortune. He lives with his father who is more concerned with drinking than raising a son. Jeff has been keeping the homestead and finding them food, but wants to strike out on his own.

When Leah's parents are murdered, there is nothing keeping her in town. Nothing except an uncle who hints that he has uses for her. He is the only one left who knows that she can feel the gold in the ground. Leah gets a bad feeling from him and plans her escape. If she can catch up to Jefferson by Independence, Missouri the will travel together.

Carson has written a novel that feels a bit like the Grapes of Wrath, but set in an earlier time period. Leah's magic plays little role in the first book in the series, but will likely come more into play if she reaches California. In the mean time, this is a great historical novel of a time of change in American history when thousands of people headed west toward a vague promise of gold. Great start to the series!

Carson, Rae. (2015). Walk on Earth a Stranger. New York: Greenwillow Books.

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