The Pierce family has left their town life in east Texas to head West to the Texas Panhandle. Four year old Carolyn and her rag doll, can’t wait. Twins Bert and Dick are excited for the adventure. But young Katie is timid and the adventure scares her. And will Mama be able to endure the isolation, not to mention life in a dirt dug out? Fourteen year old Melinda isn’t worried. She’ll only have to endure this new life for a year. After that, its back to East Texas, town life, friends, and finishing school. But the big Texas sky, and the big Texas prairies work their way into Melinda’s heart. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a way to make this new place, home.
Most of us are familiar with the pioneer life in the Dakota’s at the end of the 19th century. This is a story of the pioneers who pushed out onto the Texas frontier. Fourteen year old Melinda Pierce is most miserable. She has been forced to give up the luxuries of a life in town for the dusty life in a dirt dugout and is prone to a few episodes of mild teenage angst. Life isn’t always fair, afterall. But life can be funny. Melinda learns all of this, and even that she can find joy by helping other people, through Erdman’s gentle humor and skillful story telling. While sometimes a tad predictable, the story is never dull and is a delight to read.
What You Need to Know
- Role Models/Authority Figures – Cowboys are chivalrous, families are good and generous – both within their own family, and towards the other homesteading families in the area.
- Violence – Two “ruffians” come into the Pierce home when Mr. Pierce is away. No violence, per se, but high tension.
- Sexual Content – Two, 14 year old girls have a crush on Dennis.
- Language – None.
- Consumerism – None.
- Drinking/Smoking/Drugs – None.
- Religion – Mrs. Pierce makes it a priority to set Sundays aside with singing and Bible reading. The traveling preacher hads “Divine Worship,” his horse is “St. Paul.”