Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 22, 2015*
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17564519-walk-on-earth-a-stranger
In a nutshell: After Leah Westfall's parents are brutally murdered, she decides to run from their murderer and follow her friend to California and try her luck in the Gold Rush, but Leah won't need luck to find gold in California. She can sense when gold is near; it sings to her from inside the earth, and this magical talent could mean a rich life for her, but it's also a dangerous secret she must keep. Disguised as a boy, Leah sets off in pursuit of a fresh start, but there's danger at every turn.
I'd recommend it to grades: 8 and up
I'd recommend it to: historical fiction lovers, students who grew up on Little House books, and those who like survival stories
What I liked most about this book: This
is my first Rae Carson book, and boy, did I love it. As a child of the
90s, I grew up on the Oregon Trail (well, not literally...I grew up on
the pixelated version on our ancient computers at school.), so this
survivor story immediately struck a chord in me. Add to that a dash of
magic, and I was sold. To top it all off, the cast of characters is
robust; there are some you love and some you hate and some you love to
hate. Leah, the heroine, rivals Katniss, Tris, and other YA heroines for
her strength, compassion, and sheer nerve. I immediately liked her.
Overall, this one is a cross-country race to the finish, and I loved
every mile of it. P.S.: That cover might be the most beautiful cover I've seen all year. Shiny! (Oh, I miss you, Firefly.)
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): Leah's reaction to her parents' murders is achingly gripping and suspenseful. She's completely broken up over it but realizes she has to be strong in order to move on and survive. It's the perfect jumping-off point for the journey, which apparently will be a trilogy. Yay!
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars
*I read a digital ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss.