Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Much Ado About Grubstake
Imagine my surprise when just as I finished Once Upon a Marigold, Jen receives a lovely box from a publisher containing Jean Ferris' Much Ado About Grubstake. Happiness, indeed!
It is 1888 in tiny Grubstake Colorado. Grubstake was once a vibrant mining town, and now only the stragglers are left. 16 year old Arley runs the town boarding house on her own ever since her daddy blew himself up in their mine, Never Mine. Arley escapes her dreary life by reading her Penny Dreadfuls that she picks up once a month from the train delivery. In the Dreadfuls, life is so exciting. Arley wishes her life could be exciting too!
You know what's coming...."Be careful what you wish for..."
Soon wealthy Charles Randall rolls into town on the monthly train wanting to buy up all of the mines to make Grubstake into a resort. Arley and friends Everdene, Bridget and Wing are suspicious. Who would want to go to a resort where it rains all the time?
Randall's associate Morgan takes a room in Arley's house. He has no last name, is always dressed in black, and has a scar running the length of his cheek. Just like a villain in a Penny Dreadful! Can Arley's snooping lead to some answers?
A fun romp of a story, filled with quirky characters and action, Much Ado About Grubstake is perfect for younger YAs and sophisticated tweens.