Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician — not an easy thing if you're a girl, and harder still if you're Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life.
With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. When they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies.
With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
"After [Samantha's] father dies in a fire, the teen is left grief-stricken and vulnerable. Their landlord, Ty Yorkshire, offers her accommodation at the town hotel, where she befriends Annamae, a slave housekeeper. After Samantha kills Ty during a rape attempt, she and Annamae create disguises and join a caravan traveling to California in search of gold.... This offers a much needed multicultural look at the Oregon Trail, with resourceful, smart, and brave Chinese American and African American girls as main characters." — Jennifer Schultz, School Library Journal
|13 and up
|Mar 17, 2015
|G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers