Thursday, July 23, 2015

Under a Painted Sky

Cover image for Under a Painted Sky
by Stacey Lee
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 374 pages, Young Adult Historical Fiction

"In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri."

When I think of the Oregon Trail, I think of long lines of covered wagons.  Stacey Lee does a great job of giving a different view of the trip westward.  I loved the diversity of the characters (Chinese American, African American, Mexican, Irish), and I especially loved how she wove the backgrounds of their different cultures into the story.  For example, Sammy is always making assumptions about people’s actions based on the Chinese zodiac.  The fact that Sammy and Annamae are trying to keep their gender a secret while traveling with cowboys added a fun twist to the plot.  The story is fast-paced and full of Wild West adventure, with a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure.


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