Emily's Fortune

Emily's Fortune

4.3 10
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Ross Collins
     
 

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Emily Wiggins is poor and timid, without a drop of self-confidence. When unexpectedly orphaned, she is left all alone except for her turtle, Rufus. What in blinkin' bloomers should Emily do? Emily's neighbors, Mrs. Ready, Mrs. Aim, and Mrs. Fire, have the answer. Emily must travel by stagecoach to honorable Aunt Hilda. What a hootin', tootin' grand idea!<

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Overview

Emily Wiggins is poor and timid, without a drop of self-confidence. When unexpectedly orphaned, she is left all alone except for her turtle, Rufus. What in blinkin' bloomers should Emily do? Emily's neighbors, Mrs. Ready, Mrs. Aim, and Mrs. Fire, have the answer. Emily must travel by stagecoach to honorable Aunt Hilda. What a hootin', tootin' grand idea! But Miss Catchum of the Catchum Child-Catching Services will get a big bonus for making Emily live with her next of kin, vicious Uncle Victor. How in ding dong dickens will Emily escape Miss Catchum? It will take all the gumption and cunning of fellow orphan and traveler, Jackson, to help Emily find her confidence, conniving spirit, and the truth behind why Uncle Victor wants to claim her. But how in flippin' flapjacks will Emily outsmart Uncle Victor?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Shy little Emily lived a calm, orderly life with her pet turtle Rufus and her mother, who worked for the wealthy Luella Nash. When both women were killed in a carriage accident, Emily was left a frightened orphan. Kind neighbors hustled Emily onto a stagecoach headed for her Aunt Hilda's out west, keeping Emily one step ahead of Catchum Child Catching Services and the odious Miss Catchum. Also in hot pursuit was Emily's villainous Uncle Victor, who was after Emily's inheritance from Miss Nash. Joining Emily on the stagecoach is the feisty orphan Jackson. So begins a rollickin,' rip-roaring adventure complete with cliff hangers and plenty of action, most of which takes place on the stagecoach. Little Emily soon becomes quite the spunky, clever heroine, summoning courage she did not know she had. Kids will be rooting for her all the way. The plot moves along at breakneck speed with phrases like "ding-dong Dickens," "flippin' flapjacks," and "freakin' frazzles" adding to the fun. All in all it is a rootin' tootin' action-packed tale that will appeal to both boys and girls, and would be a sure-fire classroom read aloud. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Kirkus Reviews
Naylor takes readers on a rollicking ride to the Wild West in this comedy-adventure starring a tiny, extremely shy eight-year-old orphan, Emily, her pet turtle, Rufus, and a wild boy named Jackson who comes to her rescue. When Emily's mother and her wealthy lady employer are killed in a carriage accident, Emily chooses to go to her sweet Aunt Hilda in the West instead of her awful Uncle Victor. On her stagecoach ride west, Jackson, another orphan, helps Emily keep steps ahead of the terrible Child Catchers, but worse danger looms when Emily learns she's inherited a fortune, and greedy Uncle Victor shows up on the stagecoach looking for her. Collins provides lively line drawings that capture the action, while the author provides real suspense and comedy with her population of verging-on-caricature characters. Can Emily escape her Uncle? Can she stay with Rufus? At the end of each chapter, direct-address questions in huge type and alliterative archaic phrases launch readers into the next chapter. Emily comes across as a fully developed and appealing character. Great fun. (Historical fiction. 7-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's latest story (Delacorte, 2010) is set during the time of westward expansion, gold rushes, and stagecoaches. Emily Higgins is orphaned and without a friend in the world except for her pet turtle, Rufus. She's been sheltered most of her life and must rely on the help of three neighborly women to help her figure out what to do next. They help her get started on her way to her kind Aunt Hilda's, but her shifty Uncle Victor and the Catchum Child-Catching Services are hot on her heels. Soon Emily meets Jackson, another young orphan traveling by stagecoach, and she learns about friendship and how to fend for herself. Twists and turns, literally and figuratively, keep this story bouncing along with suspense and humor. Narrator Lee Adams enhances Naylor's brilliant use of vernacular, giving many characters weathered voices that speak of the past. An entertaining tale.—April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, Wayland MA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385736169
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
06/08/2010
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.68(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.65(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Painted on the door of the carriage was a sign that read
 
Catchum Child-Catching Services
Trumpet Junction Branch
Orphans, Strays, and Roustabouts
Rounded Up Quickly
 
Emily jumped behind a mail cart so fast that she bumped into a boy in a faded brown jacket.
 
"Hey!" he said. "Watch where you're going!" And then, "You're an orphan too, aren't you?"
 
"How did you know?" she asked him.
 
He shrugged. "Saw you trying to hide from the Child Catchers, just like I used to do."
 

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