Selling Points: "1850s, pony express, orphan, horses, mail, adventure"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Sep/01/2002
Fiction Ages 8-11
Flame quivered beneath me, ready to fly off the moment I asked.
"The mail's been stopped one minute and twenty seconds," Uncle Billy said. "That's more than long enough."
He slapped Flame on the rump and the horse leaped forward as if shot from a cannon. The sudden movement caught me off guard and for one horrible second I thought my career as a Pony Express rider was over before it started.
In the late 1850s in and around Carson City, struggles between the Indians and the local whites are growing. During the struggles, Joselyn, a young orphan, meets Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute girl who becomes her friend and gives her some valuable advice. When Joselyn takes that advice and escapes from the Carson City Home for Unfortunate Children, she has no idea that her boy's disguise and her love for and expertise with horses will lead her straight to the Pony Express. Joselyn becomes Jo and turns to a life that demands all her inner strength and resources. Then the meanest man on the route learns her secret and uses it to extract a promise that kept or broken could mean death.
Silver Birch nominee, short-listed
Western Writers of America Spur Award nominee, short-listed
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