Save Queen of Shebaby Louise Moeri
The vicious attack on their wagon train killed almost everyone - except David and his younger sister, whom he calls Queen of Sheba. The two are stranded on the deserted trail, and have to live by their wits and whatever supplies they can scavenge. And although David is seriusly hurt, he knows that frail Queen of Sheba is counting on him. He can only hope that their parents are somewhere up ahead - if he can find them.
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The family of a twelve-year-old boy named King David and his six year old sister named Queen of Sheba, have have left St. Louis, MO, and begun travelling west on a wagon train to make a new life in Oregon. The two children get separated from their parents and are in an advance company which is attacked by Sioux raiders. King David awakens to see that everyone else has been killed, although he locates no sign of his parents' wagon, which was in the company behind, so they must have escaped. He has a severe head wound. An Indian evidently started to scalp him but perhaps was frightened away. Well, one other person did survive. King David finds his sister hidden beneath an overturned feather bed. They locate one of the horses and begin to track the other wagons' trail to find their Pa and Ma. King David knows that Pa would depend on him to save Queen of Sheba, who is whiny and disobedient. But out alone on the wild prairie, with little food and water, and Indians prowling around, can they make it to safety?
Good historical fiction is my favorite kind of children's literature. This one has its moments of suspense and excitement, although there are places where it might be a little too action-less for a lot of nine- to twelve-year-olds. Younger children and sensitive readers may find the description of the assault's aftermath in chapters one and two a little disturbing. Also, parents who are concerned with language may want to note that the word "Lord" is used as an interjection throughout the book, and that King David does use the "d" and the "h" words one time each. Personally, I cannot understand why authors who write for children feel the need to use such language. Otherwise, this is an interesting story that will help young people to understand the dangers that settlers faced during the period of westward expansion.