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of Sallie's Family in Keosuqua

SALLIE FOX: The Story of a Pioneer Girl

by Dorothy Kupcha Leland

"In 1858, twelve-year-old Sallie Fox and her family left Iowa by wagon train. They followed the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, and then headed west across the bleak desert. Suddenly, Indians attacked the pioneers, driving off the cattle and oxen. One hundred people--many sick and injured--were stranded in the searing summer heat, five hundred miles from help. Sallie herself hovered near death. Yet, through grit, determination, and luck, Sallie and the others overcame the crushing odds against them. They survived and eventually made it to California.

"This lightly fictionalized account of a true story is drawn from a diary, memoirs, letters, and many other historical sources. Its child's-eye view of life on a wagon train interweaves background information about the Santa Fe Trail and Arizona's Beale Wagon Road. Most of all, it tells the heartwarming story of a plucky pioneer girl who learns that through courage and the love of her family, she can overcome any adversity.

Geared towards grades four to six, it fits well with any curriculum that studies westward expansion. It includes 15 line drawings, a map of Sallie's journey, and several historic photos. Paper, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", 128 pp. ISBN 0-0617357-6-7 $9.95.

Any bookstore should be able to order it from Baker and Taylor or other distributors such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.


Historian Marc Simmons, Past president of the Santa Fe Trail Assn: "A vivid picture of the excitements, hardships, and dangers faced by children traveling the great overland trails a century and a half ago...a well-written book that both informs and entertains." 

Marilyn Kriegel, of the Woodland Daily Democrat: "Woven into this story of heroism and survival are the everyday details that will make this tale come alive for the children who read it." 

Michael Olsen, "Wagon Tracks," newsletter of the Santa Fe Trail Association: "Though written as a 'juvenile,' the book should appeal to anyone over the age of ten and is an excellent choice to read aloud to younger children."

Reproduced with the permission of the author, Dorothy Kupcha Leland - Feb. 15, 2003