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The Way To Bright Star

Brown, Dee

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Ben Butterfield, ex-circus performer, is living out his days in a small backwater town.  He spends much of his time dwelling on the past, pondering his glory days with the circus, and his first grand adventure—an odyssey across Missouri and Illinois to Bright Star, Indiana, during the Civil War.  It was a journey that laid the groundwork for the man he would become, and on which he got to know the two people who meant the world to him, and still do.

In 1862, Ben sets out to help Johnny Hawkes, a resourceful Texican, drive two camels to the farm home of a Yankee officer who has taken possession of the desert beasts as contraband of war.  But when Johnny is imprisoned by the Yankees and charged with horse theft, it is up to Ben to complete the task without his friend and mentor.  On the threshold of manhood, he has only the help of a young girl, nicknamed Princess, who spends most of the time masquerading as a boy to avoid drawing unwanted attention.  Johnny and Princess must stand together and persevere against the odds if they are to overcome every obstacle placed before them on the winding way to Bright Star. 

A magnificent tour of 1860s heartland America, The Way to Bright Star is a grand coming-of-age novel, in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn, and destined to become an American classic.

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Review:

In this rambling road novel, Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, draws on the fascinating historical episode of the U.S. Army's brief flirtation with camels. In the early days of the Civil War, the irascible Union officer Captain Lightfoot purchases two of the beasts from the government and hires wagon master Johnny Hawkes and his teenage sidekick, Ben Butterfield, to deliver the camels to his farm in Bright Star, Indiana. They set off from Texas by wagon, cart, and then on foot, beset with adventures and pursued or joined by various colorful characters along the way, among them a young bank robber who is soon revealed to be a feisty girl named Queen Elizabeth Jones. When Johnny is thrown in a Union prison for stealing back his own horse, young Ben and Elizabeth continue the long line of exploits alone. Shambling along like a dromedary, the story wends its leisurely way over the landscapes of 1862 Missouri and Illinois as the storm clouds of war gather, and country folk choose up sides. Chapters about teenage Ben and Elizabeth's escapades on the road alternate with Ben's reflections (as a randy old man) on the circus stint that followed their cross-country journey. Not an action-packed novel, The Way to Bright Star is nevertheless rich with vignettes portraying the people and lifestyles of late-19th-century rural America. (Ages 15 and older) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

DEE BROWN is the acclaimed master of several bestsellers, including the classic nonfiction work Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which sold over five million copies worldwide, and the highly acclaimed novel Creek Mary’s Blood.  This revered writer, who has lived through most of this century, has written over two dozen books on life in frontier America, and forever put his stamp on American history.  Dee Brown lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Brown, Dee Author
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Book Description FORGE, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 229 x 155 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Ben Butterfield, ex-circus performer, is living out his days in a small backwater town. He spends much of his time dwelling on the past, pondering his glory days with the circus, and his first grand adventure--an odyssey across Missouri and Illinois to Bright Star, Indiana, during the Civil War. It was a journey that laid the groundwork for the man he would become, and on which he got to know the two people who meant the world to him, and still do.In 1862, Ben sets out to help Johnny Hawkes, a resourceful Texican, drive two camels to the farm home of a Yankee officer who has taken possession of the desert beasts as contraband of war. But when Johnny is imprisoned by the Yankees and charged with horse theft, it is up to Ben to complete the task without his friend and mentor. On the threshold of manhood, he has only the help of a young girl, nicknamed Princess, who spends most of the time masquerading as a boy to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Johnny and Princess must stand together and persevere against the odds if they are to overcome every obstacle placed before them on the winding way to Bright Star. A magnificent tour of 1860s heartland America, The Way to Bright Star is a grand coming-of-age novel, in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn, and destined to become an American classic. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780765322555

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Brown, Dee Author
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Book Description FORGE, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 229 x 155 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Ben Butterfield, ex-circus performer, is living out his days in a small backwater town. He spends much of his time dwelling on the past, pondering his glory days with the circus, and his first grand adventure--an odyssey across Missouri and Illinois to Bright Star, Indiana, during the Civil War. It was a journey that laid the groundwork for the man he would become, and on which he got to know the two people who meant the world to him, and still do.In 1862, Ben sets out to help Johnny Hawkes, a resourceful Texican, drive two camels to the farm home of a Yankee officer who has taken possession of the desert beasts as contraband of war. But when Johnny is imprisoned by the Yankees and charged with horse theft, it is up to Ben to complete the task without his friend and mentor. On the threshold of manhood, he has only the help of a young girl, nicknamed Princess, who spends most of the time masquerading as a boy to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Johnny and Princess must stand together and persevere against the odds if they are to overcome every obstacle placed before them on the winding way to Bright Star. A magnificent tour of 1860s heartland America, The Way to Bright Star is a grand coming-of-age novel, in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn, and destined to become an American classic. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780765322555

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Brown, Dee Author
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Book Description Forge Books, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "This tale of America's Gilded Age is told with a vigor and irony that do full justice to its excesses, energies, venalities, and dreams."NewsweekonHear That Lonesome Whistle Blow "It is obvious from the outset that Brown knows the Civil War period as well as he knows the Indian War and the taming of the West.A consummate storyteller. The rivers flow, the winds blow, the nights are full of secrets, and the days pulse with real life."The Washington PostonConspiracy of Knaves "With unerring eye and unflinching irony, Mr. Brown shows how history, myth, and business work hand in hand.As loaded with nuggets as the streambed at Sutter's Mill."The New York TimesonThe American West "Brown is a master of the plain style, modulating it skillfully to fit whatever engages his sense of wonder."The Orlando Sentinel "There is serendipity involved in Dee Brown's story, all right, but it is ours, not his. A Boston banker readsCreek Mary's Bloodand changes his mind about fiction. A bored young student picks upThe Westernersbecause of the title and changes his mind about reading. An entire nation readsBury My Heart at Wounded Kneeand changes its mind about history."Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0765322552

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Book Description Forge Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.1in. x 1.1in.Ben Butterfield, ex-circus performer, is living out his days in a small backwater town. He spends much of his time dwelling on the past, pondering his glory days with the circus, and his first grand adventurean odyssey across Missouri and Illinois to Bright Star, Indiana, during the Civil War. It was a journey that laid the groundwork for the man he would become, and on which he got to know the two people who meant the world to him, and still do. In 1862, Ben sets out to help Johnny Hawkes, a resourceful Texican, drive two camels to the farm home of a Yankee officer who has taken possession of the desert beasts as contraband of war. But when Johnny is imprisoned by the Yankees and charged with horse theft, it is up to Ben to complete the task without his friend and mentor. On the threshold of manhood, he has only the help of a young girl, nicknamed Princess, who spends most of the time masquerading as a boy to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Johnny and Princess must stand together and persevere against the odds if they are to overcome every obstacle placed before them on the winding way to Bright Star. A magnificent tour of 1860s heartland America, The Way to Bright Star is a grand coming-of-age novel, in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn, and destined to become an American classic. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780765322555

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Book Description Forge, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 2nd edition. 352 pages. 9.25x6.25x1.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0765322552

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