From the author of Eliza’s Freedom Road and Calico Girl (a Kirkus Best Book of the Year) comes a dramatic historical middle grade novel that is “a unique lens through which to examine the 1849 Gold Rush” (School Library Journal) following an enslaved girl taking the chance to find freedom on the Overland Trail to California.
In Alexandria, Virginia, in the mid-19th century, a slave-owning family is facing financial trouble. The eldest son, Jason, thinks going to California to mine for gold might be the best way to protect his father’s legacy. He’ll need a cook, a laundress, and a hostler for the journey, and one of them is twelve-year-old Clementine, whose mother calls her Hope.
From Independence, Missouri—the “Gateway to the West”—she and the others join a wagon train on the Emigrant Overland Trail. But what Jason didn’t consider is taking the three enslaved people west will give them an opportunity to free themselves—manifesting their destiny.