"There will be no Florence Station on the Red Rock Railroad Line. . . . From here on out the trains won't be stopping at Florence. Ever."
In 1893 Oklahoma's northwest is opened up to settlers by government decree, and Cissy Sissney and her family rush to join the tens of thousands of land runners intent on staking a new claim to their future. The Sissneys and two dozen other folk are the first settlers to arrive at the map-born town of Florence -- nothing but a double plot of sun-baked land, an empty space waiting to be filled.
Night has scarcely fallen when the trouble begins. A slick, oily-haired man drifts from campfire to campfire, offering -- on behalf of the Red Rock Railroad Company -- to buy out claims for $50 dollars apiece. Several weeks later, after all settlers but one refuse to sell, the president of the railroad lowers the boom. There'll be no more trains stopping at Florence. And without the railroad the town can't survive. So it's up to Cissy and her friends, family, and neighbors to come up with ways -- fair or foul -- to stop the train before they are all forced to abandon their homes forever.
From the incredibly versatile Carnegie medalist Geraldine McCaughrean comes a rollicking, beguiling tale of clever shenanigans and heartwarming faith in the promise of a new land.
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Geraldine McCaughrean is the winner of England's most prestigious children's book award, the Carnegie Medal, for a pack of lies. She is also the author of many other prize-winning books for young readers, including The Pirate's Son, Gold Dust, and Forever X, which was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal. She made her debut on the HarperCollins list with the stones are hatching, which Publishers Weekly called an "evocative and profound fantasy" in a starred review. Her most recent book, the kite rider, was a 2001 Nestle Smarties Book Prize Bronze Medal winner and was chosen for the 2002 Carnegie Medal shortlist.
She received a degree in education at Christ Church College, Canterbury, and now writes full-time. Ms. McCaughrean and her family live in Berkshire, England.From AudioFile:
Ellen Myrick's narration is spot-on in this rollicking story of pioneer times. The Full Cast Family delivers all the emotions of families struggling to build a new life in a new land. They arrive in Florence to stake claims at the start of the 1889 Oklahoma Land Rush, discovering that it is up to them to create the community that currently is just a dream in the dust. Hardships arise when the train bypasses Florence because the settlers won't sell their claims to the railroad. Hilarity ensues as various plans are hatched to force the train to stop. Hope wins out when success comes in a satisfying ending in which all sides win. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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