Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Last Ride of Caleb O'Toole by Eric Pierpoint

Caleb and his sisters are all alone now; their parents died of cholera at home.  Now they have no place to live, no place safe and must fend for themselves.  They also have to find their way to their aunt, who lives thirteen hundred miles away...

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Net Galley allowed me to download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

When Caleb's mother tells him he must take the wagon and go to his aunt's, he's horrified.  It's dangerous in town, though, and he has nowhere he and his sisters would be safe.  Especially since he witnessed a murder during the fray in town.

As they escape, they do so knowing that the gang is right behind them and wants to eliminate witnesses.  Caleb can use a gun, but he's not so good with it and it's a single shot.  The best thing he can do is stay ahead of them!

Trail riding is a lot like backpacking but at least you get to ride the wagon.  Caleb's only adult help is an ex-con who is purportedly crazy and was injured during the gunfight in town.  He was saving them, so Caleb saved him.

They have a lot contact with Indians, which seemed a bit unusual to me.  Having a relationship with one is believable but they seem to have magic around them and are protected by the Indians several times.  It sure makes for a good story, though.

This is a really a great read.  Nothing is boring, the children's upbringing is what keeps them alive, and they rise to the occasion.  Caleb learns to hunt and shoot well, his sister learns nursing, and the little one does what she's told.

Wagon train trips were stressful and times were tough.  What is depicted in this story is not exaggerated; it was like that.  This story can be used as a way to learn about what it was like in the old west days when land was still around to be settled and there were as many bad men as good men around.  Or it can just be a good adventure read because it is.

Happy reading.

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