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Book: Walk on Earth a Stranger (1st book in the Gold Seer trilogy)

Author: Rae Carson

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Page Count: 198

Leah Westfall has a secret. She lives with her parents in Georgia, a result of her fathers long ago gold fever. And despite all the gold in Georgia having run out, her father, “Lucky” Westfall keeps finding more, enough that they have a secret stash of gold dust worth more than 1,000 (1849 time) dollars. All thanks to Leah. You see, Leah can sense gold. From nuggets, veins, dust in a river bank, and tiny specks beneath someone’s fingernail. Despite this Leah is able to lead a normal-ish life in her little town. Until her uncle murdered her parents, took their land, and claimed ownership of Leah, planning to use her powers for himself. Leah decides that she must run away to join the gold rush to California, and escape her uncle.

I read this book for history, despite its fantasy elements. My mom chose this book, not knowing that I had already read it. She decided we would read it anyways, and there were many things that I had forgotten from my previous read. You might think that because it is a fantasy book you wouldn’t really learn anything about what it was actually like in 1849, but I think it really showed what it was like to travel across the country as a part of a group of wagons. It also helped me understand the situation the Native Americans were in, with all of these 49’ers tromping across their land.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was all the vastly different characters in their wagon group and how they interacted. It was not a big bundle of smiles and glitter, as people tend to be a bit complicated. I also enjoyed watching how the children in their group acted about moving across the country. Surprisingly, many of the younger ones were completely chill with it. The older ones had a bit more mixed feelings. Overall I enjoyed reading this book, and I think that if you read it, you will too.

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