The Devil's Highway

The Devil's Highway

by Stan Applegate
     
 

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Set in 1811 against the dramatic backdrop of the dangerous Natchez Trace, this exciting historical novel tells the story of fourteen-year-old Zeb and eleven-year-old Hannah who team up to make their way safely down the trail from Franklin, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. Zeb, who does not believe the story he hears that his grandfather was killed by thieves along

Overview

Set in 1811 against the dramatic backdrop of the dangerous Natchez Trace, this exciting historical novel tells the story of fourteen-year-old Zeb and eleven-year-old Hannah who team up to make their way safely down the trail from Franklin, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. Zeb, who does not believe the story he hears that his grandfather was killed by thieves along the trail, is determined to find him. Hannah, who miraculously escaped from the treacherous Mason gang, hopes to be reunited with both her Choctaw Indian friends and her family. When the two daring young adventurers reach the Choctaw village, Zeb is befriended by the Indians and is rewarded for his bravery through initiation into the tribe. Reuniting Hannah with her family is only half of Zeb's goal. Can he find his grandfather? Is he even still alive? As the children narrowly escape life-threatening situations along their journey, Zeb and Hannah learn to value each other’s survival skills, courage, and determination.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Christopher Moning
It is 1811, and Zebulon "Zeb" D'Evereux finds himself alone on perhaps the most perilous byway in America. The Natchez Road (known later as the Natchez Trace) runs from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, in the Mississippi Territory. Robbers, horse thieves, and murderers are known to frequent the trail. When Zeb's grandfather disappears, Zeb has no choice but to travel the trail on his own, trying to trace Grampa's steps. He hooks up with Hannah, a ten-year-old, half-white, half-Choctaw Indian girl, who has recently escaped from the murderous gang who kidnapped her. Together, Zeb and Hannah risk their lives trying to locate their relatives. Along the way, they experience encounters with soldiers and Indians. The story is action-packed and well researched, with a fine afterword by the author in which he answers questions about the Natchez Trace. Black and white illustrations bring the action scenes to life.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8--A fast-paced story set against the backdrop of the Natchez Trace in the early 1800s. When Zeb's grandfather does not return from a horse-trading trip, the 14-year-old suspects foul play. He and his beloved horse, Christmas, take to the Natchez Trail, a bandit-infested 500-mile pathway connecting Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS. Zeb avoids the highway robbers who routinely stalk and ambush innocent travelers. He soon meets Hannah, a half-Choctaw girl who has escaped from a band of kidnapping thieves. Teaming up against the odds, the two dodge the outlaws, narrowly escape drowning while crossing the Tennessee River, and stumble upon a group of army officers who are out to apprehend the terrorizing gangs. When the youngsters eventually reach Hannah's tribe, things do not calm down. Broad strokes of historical details enrich the story line. Zeb and Hannah are able to sustain themselves, and the plot, with their pluck and determination. Zeb's daredevil passion for horse racing will amuse readers. An author's note answers historical questions. The story ends abruptly with Hannah being reunited with her parents. Zeb has not found his grandfather, leaving readers waiting for the sequel.--Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561458516
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
10/28/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Stan Applegate holds degrees from Pennsylvania State University and Columbia University. He worked in education for many years, as a teacher, as chief of education science and technology for USAID in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, for the office of American affairs in education, and as vice president for research and sponsored programs at the University of South Carolina. He lives in Georgia.

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