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Ox Cart Angel (Claire's Journey Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: 320 Nice front and back cover with a small amount of dings or creases. Clean inside. Light shelf wear.
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Ox Cart Angel Paperback – August 11, 2011

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. A. Arnold lives in Minnesota with his wife, two kids, two cats, a dog, and a rat. He enjoys history and travel. His writing has appeared in dozens of publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466203021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466203020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,386,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joel Arnold is the author of several novels. His short stories and articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including WEIRD TALES, CHIZINE, AMERICAN ROAD MAGAZINE and Cemetery Dance's anthology SHIVERS VII. In 2010 he received both a MN Artists Initiative Grant as well as the Speculative Literature Foundation's Gulliver Travel & Research Grant.

Arnold teaches writing at student workshops throughout Minnesota and has given presentations about the Ox Cart trails of Minnesota and the Dakotas to several historical societies and other groups interested in history. He also serves as the literary director for the Savage Arts Council.

Arnold lives near the Twin Cities in Minnesota with his wife, two kids, two cats, a dog and a ball python. Plus he makes a mean coffee cake.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JAScribbles on August 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do you ever find yourself finishing a book and loving it so much you refrain from reading for a while? You don't want to pick up another title because it may erase the wonderful feelings you currently have. Ox Cart Angel did that to me. I simply loved this book.

The captivating storyline carried me from the first page to the last. At times I was on the edge of my seat and others I was sad, enraged, and awed. More than once I found myself starring blankly at my Kindle screen. Mr. Arnold has a way of painting beautifully detailed scenes and situations. He sets the reader up for deeper thoughts and knocked me out of the story - in a good way. Themes of pioneer days, racism before it was called such, survival, family, beliefs, society were all presented in this middle grade book. I couldn't help but stop and reflect. An author with this skill - especially for young readers - is a fantastic find.

I hope Ox Cart Angel finds its way into classrooms. It needs to be there. A few of the scenes are tense and some may verge on disturbing for very young readers, but I feel it would be a wonderful addition to any unit on homesteaders, Native American history, Minnesota history, racism, survival, or the Civil War. Fifth, sixth, seventh grade teachers (and up) please check out this story.

I also encourage Mr. Arnold to add a map to this tale if possible. I would have liked to track Claire and Xavier's journey.

For anyone looking for a wonderful story I encourage you to pick up this book. I hope you'll love it as much as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary E aka Lockette on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ox Cart Angel will transport you back to a time that your children may never knew even existed. It is so hard to realize that there were days before highways, before cars, before grocery stores with everything we could ever need were on every corner. This book reminds us that it really was not that long ago in our timeline that these conveniences were not available to us.
The story starts out with a girl, Claire. Claire is Métis, her mother being Indian and her father French Canadian. After the death of her mother, Claire finds out her father wants to pick up and move from the little town of Pembina to the big city of St. Paul. She does not want to leave the only home town she has grown up in and the friends she loves, but she has no choice. Her father has decided to sell what they can and move his photography business to St. Paul. All they can afford is an old, half blind ox the town children call Bone Bag and a rickety old cart. Having missed leaving with the big wagon train of Métis, but hoping on catching up with them, Claire and her father set out on their difficult journey.
Along the way, Claire refuses to leave her mother's wedding gown, so she wears the dress almost the entire trip, even though it is uncomfortable, as Claire feels the dress is one of her last connections to her mother. As this little crew runs into people, they start to comment on how she appears to be an "angel." Their trip with the old ox and cart is long, monotonous and oftentimes dangerous. This story is about all of the people they run across, the good and the bad, the adverse situations they have to deal with and the unknown future that awaits them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin L. Davis II on December 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Although I gave this 4-stars, it's perhaps better than that as a Young Adult novel. The short novel reads as a diary of a young girl who sets out with her father on a nearly endless journey into Minnesota with an ox cart and a flatulent ox. Enroute she deals with fear, discrimination, love and hardship. The story is straightforward and easy reading toward the end while keeping the reader under tension. This is a great read for young adults.

This novel was received in eBook format from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mirrani on May 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ox Cart Angel is a story of loss and discovery set in the days of wagon caravans and boys going off to fight in the civil war. Claire is a Metis girl (someone of both white and American Indian blood) lost in the changes of an adult's world. One moment she is playing with her friend, the next she is leaving her home forever. Her journey is filled with danger and tragedy, but it is equally filled with discovery and the joys of overcoming the sorrows of the past.

A perfect book to teach us that discovering who you are as a person does not happen quickly or in the way you expect it to, this story gradually helps the reader let go of what we physically cling to as a way of remembering the past and then leads them into grasping for the more precious memories in our hearts and minds. In this way, through Claire's journey the reader travels through pain and into hope.

The story is well written, told in the first person, from the prospective of a young girl whose world has turned upside down in what seems to be too many ways to count. The quality of writing puts the reader right into the events as they unfold along the long road and helps you to see through Claire's eyes and feel with her heart. In fact, the only warning I feel I must give anyone who picks up this book is that the story is so well told and the emotions are so well expressed within the words of each page that you will easily experience Claire's feelings as your own.

Note: Though this book was a free gift from the author, the content of my review was in no way influenced by the gifting. The book speaks for itself and my review would have been worded just this way even if I'd gone out and bought it. I also give bonus points for Text To Speech enabling on Kindle format.... but that also wasn't a factor in the above review.
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