Walk on Earth a Stranger, by Rae Carson

January 27, 2017

Review by Sal Meehan

Have you ever tried to hide in plain sight? Leah Westfall or “Lee” has to do that in Walk on Earth a Stranger. In the beginning, Lee is a sixteen year-old girl living in Dahlonega, Georgia with her parents in 1849. She has a normal life going to school and hunting animals, but she also has a special power. Lee can sense gold wherever it is. We don’t know when Lee got her powers but we do know that it gets stronger as she gets older. When gold is discovered in California, Lee dreams of going there where she could be rich. Her best friend, Jefferson wants Lee to go with him to California too. Lee decides that she can’t go. She has to stay and help around the house especially while her dad is sick.Then, disaster happens. Lee finds her parents shot dead, and she is forced to live with her Uncle Hiram who she has not seen in years. Lee soon discovers that her Uncle is out to control her and her power so he can be rich. She has no choice but to run away to California with the hope of meeting up with Jefferson along the way.As Lee makes her escape from her uncle, she realizes that she has to pretend to be a boy to survive the journey. Working on a wagon train is really hard. Lee thinks that they would not let a girl do that work. She also fears her uncle will discover where she went. As a boy, it will be harder for Uncle Hiram to find her. Lee decides to dress up as a boy so they will let her stay on the wagon train and she can hide from her uncle in plain sight.

This book deserves five stars. I loved how this book describe how hard it would be to travel to California on a wagon train. They had to walk through deserts, fight off animals, and Native Americans. I also enjoy learning about American history, like the gold rush. It was also interesting what Lee had to do to be a boy especially because she was going through puberty. This book also kept me glued to it because of all the cliffhangers. Will Jefferson and Lee reunite? Can she survive crossing the country? Will Lee become rich in California? Or, will her uncle stand in the way of everything? I can’t wait to read the next book called Like a River Glorious.

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