A Review of "The Quilt Walk" in SirReadALot
SirReadALot (Aug 2012)
Children’s Books / Historical Fiction / Ages 9 & Up
The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas (Sleeping Bear Press)
“I’ll go. Pa, me and Skiddles.” I said, hugging my cat. I talked in a smatl voice, because Pa didn’t usually like me to speak up. Children should be seen and not heard, he told me often enough, although I was ten now and thought I had a right to voice my own opinions. I had learned a great deal about Colorado in school and knew it was a wild place, with gunslingers and Indians, outlaws and prospectors. It sounded much more exciting than Qulncy, Illinois, the town closest to our farm. Here I was expected to act like a young lady, to sit and quilt with Ma and to practice my embroidery."
- from the book
New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Sandra Dallas brings her much admired storytelling talent to middle-grade readers for the first time in The Quilt Walk. She is the author of eleven adult novels as well as ten nonfiction books.
It’s 1864 in The Quilt Walk and Thomas Hatchett has just told his family they will move West to strike it rich. He’ll sell the farm, buy a covered wagon, and load it with construction supplies. Pa plans to build a business block in the frontier town of Golden, Colorado.
When 10-year-old Emmy Blue’s father makes this announcement, the reaction to the news is as varied as the colors in one of their beloved hand-pieced quilts.
The Colorado Gold Rush is in full swing. Even with the exciting journey in front of them. Emmy and her parents cannot help mourning what they are forced to leave behind: friends, family, pets and markers in the cemetery for lost loved ones. However, Emmy’s mother is an example of courage and strength, encouraging everyone around her to see life as an adventure and an opportunity to help others.
Ma knows the West means freedom for a man. where her husband will have a better life, but for her it means leaving behind everything she cares for and loves. A courageous and strong woman with a stout heart. Ma accepts Pa’s decisions like she accepts dandelions – because she can’t do a thing about them. And what about their daughter, ten-year-old Emmy Blue?
Part of Emmy wants the excitement of going to a new place where her family might become rich. After all, Golden is the Wild West. She’d be busy watching out for Indians and hunting for gold. The other part of her wants to stay in Quincy, Illinois, with her friends and grandparents, and her cat, Skiddles.
Indian sightings, deadly snakes, a stray dog, new friends and the dreaded quilting hour all keep Emmy busy as they make the long crossing in their overburdened wagons. During her final good-bye, Grandma Mouse gives Emmy tiny fabric pieces. Concerned that Colorado Territory is no place for a proper young lady. Grandma is determined that Emmy learn to sew. Emmy’s journey west becomes a quilt walk. The journey is long and full of hardships and Emmy’s experiences along the way bring the period of westward expansion, as well as issues facing women, to life for young readers.
“Period details, engaging characters and clever plot twists will entice even the most discerning fans of historical fiction. Populated with brave and intelligent women, Dallas story is as much about Emmy’s journey toward womanhood as their journey toward the West. Solid writing and a close attention to details make this story more than the sum of its parts. Finely stitched.”
Inspired by a true incident in Colorado history, award-winning Western author Dallas with The Quilt Walk crafts an absorbing story in this debut middle-grade novel.