Newbery Medalist Avi brings us mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended — and perilous — adventure to save her brother.
Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, Tory stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships. Beloved storyteller Avi is at the top of his form as he ushers us back to an extraordinary time of hope and risk, brought to life by a heroine readers will cheer for. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure.
"Narrator Sarah Naughton imbues the titular Gold Rush girl, 13-year-old Victoria, with all the pluckiness of the spirited heroines of nineteenth-century novels. Tory is tired of following the strict social mores imposed by her imperious aunt in Providence, Rhode Island. Instead, she aspires to a life of freedom and self-determination. When her father loses his job and leaves for San Francisco, expecting to make a fortune in gold, Tory stows away on the ship. Naughton's voice is enthusiastic, flagging only with Tory's spirits and portraying her disappointment when she discovers how filthy and lawless San Francisco is. But Tory bravely forges ahead, and with a light tone and brisk pace, Naughton keeps listeners engaged as Tory embarks on her adventure in the Wild West. S.C. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine"
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