As her family and other members of the Petticoat Party settle into their new lives in the Oregon territory, thirteen-year-old Phoebe Brown yearns for more of the freedoms she had experienced on the difficult cross-country journey.
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Grade 5-8-The third book in the series picks up soon after the "Petticoat Party" wagon train arrives in Oregon City, OR, in 1846 and continues through 1848. Phoebe Brown, 13, and her family stake a claim along the Willamette River. Her father finds paradise in clearing the forest, building a home, and working the land. The young Brown women, however, yearn for more than backbreaking farm work. Amelia, Phoebe's older sister, writes a novel by candlelight and contributes columns to The Oregon Intelligencer. She sets her cap for the young editor of the fledgling newspaper. Phoebe aches for the adventure and freedom of the trail. At the end of the novel, now 15, she disguises herself as a boy and runs away with her friend Robbie Robson to seek gold in California. Karr creates intelligent characters and examines thought-provoking themes. Phoebe realizes that she has the power to find freedom within herself and learns that "all of us have something worth fighting for." Each chapter begins with an excerpt from The Oregon Intelligencer that sets the theme and time. With dashes of humor and romance, this is a fine addition to the series. For other stories about dynamic young women of the West, introduce readers to Pam Mu?oz Ryan's Riding Freedom (Scholastic, 1998) and Karen Cushman's The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (Clarion, 1996).
Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. The first two books in the Petticoat Party series follow the adventures of Phoebe Brown and her family as they trek westward from Massachusetts in a wagon train bound for Oregon. After a buffalo stampede, the women take charge (thus, the series title). In this adventure, the Petticoat Party has finally arrived in Oregon City, but Phoebe sorely misses the excitement of life on the trail. She is also having trouble adjusting to the male-dominated society she finds herself a part of once again. When Phoebe, now 15, hears news of gold discovered in California, she decides that the gold rush is just the adventure she has been looking for. Of course, that sets the stage for the fourth book in the series, Gold-Rush Phoebe, due out in the fall. More entertainment than history, this lighthearted series provides a nice alternative to lengthier and more challenging historical fiction about the time period. Lauren Peterson
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Book Description HarperTrophy, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0064404978
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