Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Ransom's Mark: Daughters of the Faith Series" by Wendy Lawton

About the book: Ransom’s Mark recounts the story of thirteen-year-old Olive Oatman’s journey west by wagon train.  Renegade Yavapais capture Olive and her sister in 1851 after the massacre of their family.  A year later the Mohaves rescue the sisters and tattoo them with the mark of ransom.  The cruelty of Olive’s early captivity and the death of her sister from starvation bring Olive to the edge of despair before she discovers what ransom really means.

Ransom’s Mark is a middle grade novel, and will appeal to girls from ages 8 - 11.

My thoughts:  Wendy Lawton has again written a moving, historically sound biographical history of a young girl from the early pioneer days of the United States.  When her father decides to move west with friends it isn't a simple trek across the county line.  It entails completely uprooting the family, selling possessions, walking exhausting miles across dry parched land as well as seeing the beauty of the countryside in full bloom.

It means doing without enough to eat and drink and not having the privacy for basic bodily needs.  It means the fear of hostile Indians from tribal groups.  And it finally means facing a future without her family when they were all massacred by renegade Indians and only she and one younger sister were spared.

Wendy Lawton has graced this book with a good glossary so parents and teachers can readily teach the historical terms.  The age for which this moving story is written is 8 to 11.  However, for the very sensitive child, I would recommend perhaps ages 10 to 13.  Portions are very intense. I highly recommend this book as well as others in the Daughters of the Faith series by Wendy Lawton for the home, school, and church library.

Other books by Wendy Lawton reviewed on Chat With Vera are:  Shadow of His Hand, The Captive Princess, and Almost Home.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Ransoms' Mark by Moody Publishers on behalf of the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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