- File Size: 579 KB
- Print Length: 240 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Clean Reads (August 6, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 6, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074MJ5L9F
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,540 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
West From the Cradle Kindle Edition
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Through a quirk of fate, 16-year-old Travis Cooper has an opportunity to join the mid-1800's California gold rush with shopkeeper Raymond Hillerman. Travis is an undersized young man and more academic than the outdoor type, but he wasn’t going to let this opportunity get away from him. He bids his father, brother and little sister farewell and leaves the family farm, unsure when or if he’ll ever return.
Travis and Mr. Hillerman join a wagon train heading west from Missouri. The journey is fraught with danger, both from the rough passage and from unsavory fellow travelers.
After a series of unfortunate circumstances, Travis is alone. He makes up for his small stature in determination and bravery as he throws his whole being into panning for gold.
Joaquin de la Rosa, a young man of old California nobility, comes into Travis’ life and the two of them work together. Although opposite in nature—Joaquin would prefer a gambling table to the discomforts of working a gold field—they become loyal friends.
Their friendship is tested when Joaquin is accused of a serious crime.
It was my pleasure to receive a copy of West of the Cradle in exchange for an objective review. I highly recommend this book, not only for Young Adults but for anyone interested in America’s early history. Along the way, Travis and Joaquin become friends with neighboring Nisenan Indians and the author spends some time describing various Nisenan customs and food preparation, adding authenticity to the novel’s setting and story.
Just 16, Travis faces hardship and misadventure on the long trail from Missouri to California in mid-nineteen hundred. I enjoyed the story as the long trek across country via wagon played out beautifully as the author’s descriptive narrative transported me back to that earlier time.
Travis faces and overcomes many difficulties before he and his new partner finally stake their claim. Then there is even more intrigue as rash actions and a love of gambling land his partner in a heap of trouble. The action is intense throughout and the story is never dull.
I disliked the big gap in the story after Travis falls gravely ill then almost dies. He’s invited to join another group but declines; determined this time to make the remainder of the journey on his own. Then the story picks up again, on location sometime later at the claim in California.
Even as small as he is, Travis has a natural knack for prospecting. While I was happy for his successes, I also became skeptical that the back-breaking labor could be so easy for the lad. The book closes at a logical point and it seems the next adventure may pick up further south possibly in Mexico.
Several thought-provoking themes were skillfully woven into the story-line. I enjoyed this book and look forward to further adventures as Travis navigates the Wild West.
"West From the Cradle" by Brigid Amos is a young adult historical novel that provides a glimpse of the sacrifice and determination that characterized the exodus to participate in the California Gold Rush. Young Travis Cooper gets caught up in the frenzy and has to cope with remarkable changes that he will need to adapt to or be chewed up by the craziness.
There are fascinating aspects to this story that gives a different perspective on the sacrifices, harsh life, and difficult choices that characterized life during this time. The author offers several examples of the way life changes in an instant and gives insight into the highs and lows that accompany the arduous process of gathering gold from the barely civilized region of California. I was particularly entertained to learn the implications of the phrase, "Watching the grass grow." The casual bigotry demonstrated is heartbreaking and it was eye-opening to be reminded what a precarious position women could occupy. The points of view hop around and there are sometimes abrupt shifts in time and scene which I found disconcerting but I was particularly frustrated by the end because it is somewhat of a cliffhanger.
I think this is a fun story that will help youngsters understand a bit more about our amazing history and the fever that struck and changed so many lives.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review
Travis soon learns that staying alive is harder than Missouri farm work and potential prospecting. The wagon trail ride with storekeeper and now partner Raymond Hillerman goes from adventurous to dangerous from both the elements and sidewinding wagon train companions. When Hillerman dies from illness, Travis becomes alone, that is until Joaquin de la Rosa shows up, spoiled and upper class yet a hard worker. The two become partners.
Until de la Rose is arrested for a crime. Nicenan Indians come to their aid, adding flavor to the story.
I receive a copy of West of the Cradle in exchange for an objective review. I recommend this book to both teen and adult readers. The history is authentic and accurate with lively descriptions of gold fever, illness, danger and culture. Characters are believable and determined. It was a wonderful read.