Voyage of the Continental
Ages 12 and up
Recommended by The Seattle Times
“Gr. 5-8. When Asa Mercer makes a public plea for women to come to the Washington Territory, Emeline, 17, decides to go with the hope of becoming a teacher. Through journal entries and occasional letters, she tells of her 1866 voyage by steamer from a New England mill town to Seattle. Aboard, she meets a woman traveling under an alias who fears for her life at the hands of her abusive, swindler husband. The mystery surrounding Ruby Shaw is a main plot thread, but readers also see Emmy growing in assurance and ability throughout the trip. Courting, kissing, and learning how to distinguish infatuation from true love are at the heart of this novel, which includes some real people but doesn’t confine itself to known events. The combination of historical detail, murder mystery, and romance works well, keeping a long journey from becoming tedious. Eleven pages of historical and research notes indicate where the author has deviated from known facts. Readers who enjoy lighthearted historical romance will find that this one fits the bill.—Carol A. Edwards, School Library Journal.