Synopses & Reviews
Dear Gram and Grampop,
Please do not address yours truly as California anymore, California Morning Whipple being a foolish name for a duck much less a girl. I call myself Lucy now. I cannot hate California and be California. I know you will understand.
California doesn't suit Lucy Whipple -- not the name, not the place. But moving out West to Lucky Diggins, California, was her mama's dream-come-true. And now her brother, Butte, and sisters, Prairie and Sierra, seem to be Westerners at heart, too. For Lucy, Lucky Diggins is hardly a town at all -- just a bunch of ramshackle tents and tobacco-spitting miners. Even the gold her mama claimed was just lying around in the fields isn't panning out. Worst of all, there's no lending library! Dag diggety!
So Lucy vows to be plain miserable until she can hightail it back East where she belongs. But Lucy California Morning Whipple may be in for a surprise -- because home is a lot closer than she thinks...
When California Morning Whipple's widowed mother uproots her family from their comfortable Massachusetts environs and moves them to a rough mining camp called Lucky Diggins in the Sierras, California Morning resents the upheaval. Desperately wanting to control something in her own life, she decides to be called Lucy, and as Lucy she grows and changes in her strange and challenging new environment. Here Karen Cushman helps the American Gold Rush spring to colorful life, just as she did for medieval England in her previous two books, Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife's Apprentice, which won Newbery Honor status and a Newbery Medal respectively.
"Lucy is irresistible, her lively narration and stubborn, slightly naive self-confidence recall Catherine, Called Birdy ... a timeless and richly comic coming-of-age story". -- Pointer Review/Kirkus Reviews
"With zest and wit, Cushman gives us the domestic side of "Lucy is irresistible, her lively narration and stubborn, slightly naive self-confidence recall Catherine, Called Birdy ... a tithe Western Frontier adventure". -- Starred Review/ALA Booklist
"A great tie-in to American history lessons". -- Starred Review/School Library Journal
Newbery medalist Karen Cushman creates another spunky, lovable heroine in this hilarious Western adventure set in an 1849 mining camp. Lured by the promise of gold out West, Lucy's adventuresome mother uproots her three children, Butte, Sierra, and California Morning, from their comfortable New England home to rough-hewn Lucky Diggins, California. But California Morning has decided she's an Eastern girl at heart. She changes her name to Lucy, and vows to be miserable until she can make her way back home. But home may be where she least expects it -- and closer than she thinks.
The Newbery Medal-winning author of "Catherine Called Birdy" and "The Midwife's Apprentice" creates another spunky, lovable heroine in this hilarious Western adventure set in an 1849 mining camp.
About the Author
Karen Cushman has a long-standing interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals and presidents. I wanted to know what life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Research into medieval English history and culture led to the writing of Catherine Called Birdy,
winner of the 1995 Newbery Honor Award, and The Midwife's Apprentice,
winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal. Her research moved in a new diredtion as she learned about nineteenth century women and children for The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.
Ms. Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received an M.A. in Human Behavior and one in Museum Studies. She and her husband and daughter share their Oakland, California, home with two cats, a dog and a rabbit.