Friday, October 17, 2014

For Your TBR Pile - Under A Painted Sky

Under a Painted Sky
By Stacey Lee
Published: March 17,  Putnam/Penguin

From GoodReads: Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. 

With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

Thank you Penguin for the ARC!

My Thoughts:

There are good books, and there are ridiculously good books. Under A Painted Sky is ridiculously good.

A well-researched Western that keeps the pacing tight and the stakes upped around every turn, the entire time I read this one, I couldn't help but think how educators and librarians were going to latch onto this one. The story was ripe with educational material, but woven into a story that kept the pages turning.

The characters were FABULOUS. From Dragon Andy to Tiger Cay, Stacey Lee wove in the Chinese Zodiac into her characters and the decisions they made, readers are sure to think about them long after the book was finished.

The best was that the story had a wonderful ebb and flow of excitement and danger followed by these contemplative character developments. It felt like the story took a breath in between plot points, which I loved. Stacey Lee is a fantastic writer and this book is so worthy of every award I see it winning once it debuts.

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