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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1849, Lucy Whipple's mother packs up her household and her two young children, and leaves their home in Massachusetts for the gold fields of California.

Moving is the last thing the outspoken 12-year-old, Lucy, wants to do. Reaching California, the Whipples set up a crude boardinghouse, and Lucy is put to work washing, cleaning, and baking pies in the rough mining town of Lucky Diggins. There are no books, no school - nothing but dust and drunken miners. With each day, the homesick Lucy is more and more determined to take life into her own hands and return to New England.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple is her firsthand account of her struggles in a rough and tumble land. Newbery Award-winning author Karen Cushman paints a vivid picture of life in the gold fields. Dispelling the idea that only men went there to seek their fortune, Cushman focuses on the women and families who created homes and towns from a harsh landscape.

©1996 Karen Cushman (P)1997 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Ballad of Lucy Whipple

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I liked it....

it was good it did get a tad boring. the story was a great story.

1 person found this helpful

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A great Gold Rush read

I really liked The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. It made reading about the Gold Rush interesting, and I loved the main character, Lucy. She has a lot of spunk and is very determined.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting take on the Gold Rush

The story is based around a little girl who is forced to go to California with her mother and siblings. It follows her woes and homesickness for Massachusetts. I really enjoyed the story. Lucy is a bit sassy and is constantly skirting her responsibilities because she would rather read her books and dream about returning home. Eventually Lucy discovers her purpose in life and the value of home and family. I would recommend co-reading with younger children, just so you can explain certain topics. In one part of the story they name about 30 different names for alcohol and in another they bring up the word sex when a preacher says he’s not that kind of man. I believe these parts could have been left out and were unnecessary in a children’s book. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the book