There’s a wonderful book written by one of our Wordsmiths, Marilyn Cram Donahue, titled The Valley In Between. It chronicles a period in the life of thirteen-year-old pioneer girl, Emmie Hamilton, to the leading edge of her young adulthood. It’s 1857 when the story begins, and the peaceful farming community of San Bernardino, California is transformed almost overnight into a lawless frontier town. Emmie finds herself tested as she struggles along side those who want to rebuild the community and bring it back from chaos to order.
I hope you get a chance to read this book. A supplement to elementary social studies curricula, it brings to life a slice of American history through the eyes of an adventurous and heart-warming girl.
The three spot illustrations represent the following excerpts from the book.
Emmie hurried along the narrow dirt path that led through the sycamore grove and back toward the house. Her wet skirts flapped and caught around her ankles, making it hard to walk. She would have reached down and pulled them up, but her arms were full of the boughs of the yellow cottonwood leaves that her sister, Luanna, had asked her to pick for the wedding table.
It was unusual for anyone to ride on the rough roads after dark–unless someone had taken sick, or there was important news to pass along.
His dark hair hung around his shoulders in dusty strands, and the hat that covered his head was sweat-stained and dirt-streaked. He had grown a thick mustache, and it made him look older, but not any better.
Contributed by Veronica Walsh, children’s book illustrator