by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Reviewer Rating:


Eight-year-old Emily lives with her mother and her mother’s employer, Mrs. Nash.  As Mrs. Nash is very particular about children, Emily grows up extremely sheltered, without going to school or making any friends aside from Rufus, her pet turtle.  And then the unthinkable happens: both Mrs. Nash and her mother die in a carriage accident.  As her nearest relative is villainous Uncle Victor, Emily elects to live with her much nicer and kinder aunt-by-marriage, Hilda.  She, however, lives so far out West that Emily would have to travel by train and stagecoach to get there…and getting there isn’t going to be easy with the “Catchum Child-Catching Services: Orphans, Strays, and Roustabouts Rounded up Quickly” on the look-out for her and even worse, her Uncle Victor is also hot on her trail, on account of Emily’s ten million dollar inheritance.  Will Emily find Aunt Hilda before her wicked Uncle Victor finds her?

I really enjoyed Emily’s grand adventure in the Old West. I found it humorous and heart-warming, and I think it would make a great middle-grade readaloud.

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