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Ransom's Mark: A Story Based on the Life of the Pioneer Olive Oatman (Daughters of the Faith Series) Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Ransom's Mark: A Story Based on the Life of the Pioneer Olive Oatman (Daughters of the Faith Series) + Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Daughters of the Faith Series
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802436382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802436382
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... invigorating blend of historical information and imaginative writing...remarkable facility for conveying contradictory emotions, thoughts, motives of the pioneers." -- Publisher's Weekly, June 30, 2003

From the Author

Ransom's Mark is another story of a real girl who made a difference. Author Wendy Lawton grew up fascinated by history. She craved stories about girls like herself, but was disappointed to find that historical accounts of children were rare. When she found a child story it was usually about a courageous boy.

This series— for girls in the 8 - 12 year old middle grades— offers those rare stories with characters who are real— just what girls love. Daughters of the Faith are true-life heroes who range in age from the mature ten-year-old Mary Bunyan to 14-year-old Olive Oatman.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Olive Oatman is thirteen years old in the fall of 1850 when her father decides the family will leave their Illinois farm and go west to California. Olive, her parents, and her six siblings join a wagon train west, but have trouble from the start. Their leader turns out to be unreliable, and changes their destination. The wagon train splits several times, until the Oatmans eventually end up on their own in dangerous Indian territory, because her father is unwilling to wait at the safety of a village for another wagon train to join. Olive fears the worst will happen, and she is right. Renegade Indians attack the Oatmans and massacre most of the family, sparing only Olive and her seven-year-old sister, Mary Ann, who they take captive. Olive struggles to keep up hope during her captivity and to adjust to her difficult new life, all the while trying her best to protect frail Mary Ann.

This was an excellent historical novel for young readers that brought to life the true story of Olive Oatman. Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly those who have an interest in this time period or in Indian captive stories, are sure to enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donita K. Paul on November 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This story is filled with details about pioneers, Indians, and the geography of the land and yet it doesn't overbalance the tale of young Olive. This is so well written the reader doesn't realize all the information the writer is pouring into her head. I was so caught up in the story that I found myself crying through the last pages. It is rare that I find a book I like so much. It is going on my gift list for all birthdays and holidays this upcoming year. I have lots of young friends to share this with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Artist & Author on December 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The information in this book is interesting and well-written. Although it could be classed as 'historical fiction,' it is factually much more accurate than most juvenile historical fiction. I guess the events were exciting enough to not need to embellish it any.

Since this is part of a 'Christian' series, I would suggest that readers go beyond just this book. For example, in the book actually written by Olive Oatman (with Royal B. Stanton), one part that will likely have small tears coming is her description of little Mary Ann's death by starvation. I believe that everyone is given a 'mission' by God to complete in his or her life, and when that mission is accomplished, He takes them Home. Mary Ann's passing was so different, so glorious, compared to that of the other children in the village, also dying of starvation, that she fascinated the Mojave Indians. As she approached death, she clearly sang the Sabbath songs she'd learned before her trip. It was so beautiful the natives became captivated by what It was that gave her such peace, even joy, as the approach of death. One could say that her little face shown, reflecting the love of Jesus to those heathen people. This is touched upon in this book, but much more beautiful in the original. Mary Ann was always a delightful little girl (learning to read by the age of four; reading the Bible through before she turned six), even to many of the Indians (the chief's wife even took their seed corn to try to save her) that it is clear her whole life was meant to exemplify the Light of Jesus to those people.

But, it is listed as a children's book (ages 9-12). The print is so small that my pre-teen grandchildren's eyes just glaze over at the thought of reading it. A high school teen might read it, but it is simply not printed for young readers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Blann Phifer on July 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Title: RANSOM'S MARK
Author: Wendy Lawton
Reviewer: Peggy Phifer
Publisher: Moody Publishers
ISBN: 0-8024-3638-2 / [money amount]
Genre: Children/Youth Fiction
When Olive Oatman's pa gets the urge to move west to California, he packs his family and belongings into a covered wagon and they leave their home in Fulton, Illinois. Olive is the third oldest child of six, with baby number seven due along the way. Olive and her brothers and sisters dream of the coming adventure and excitement. But there was no way they could have imagined what the journey would really be like on the Santa Fe Trail.
Trouble begins early when the wagon-master starts to change the plans all had agreed on when they signed up. Eventually, the train splits in two, and Olive's wagon goes with a smaller group to continue on the Santa Fe Trail. Gradually, other wagons drop off at the towns along the way, until only the Oatman wagon is left to continue on. Then, a renegade band of Yavapai Indians attacks the lone wagon, and Olive and her little sister Mary Ann are captured.
Olive and her sister are eventually ransomed from the Yavapai by the beautiful daughter of the chief of a Mohave tribe, but her life is still hard. Branded with a Mohave tattoo, Olive struggles to understand. How can this be a mark of God's love?
This true story of Olive Oatman is one of the most inspiring stories of courage I've read in a long time. Wendy Lawton has treated this story with great discretion and sensitivity to make it readable for her target age-group of 8-12-year olds. Yet she has managed to bring out the stark reality of the dangers the westward pioneers faced.
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