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Children's LiteratureIn 1909, Elinore Stewart agreed to be a housekeeper for a cattle rancher in Wyoming. This slim but information packed book is a record of the letters Elinore wrote to a friend in Denver over the next few years. Beginning with an introduction, young readers meet the gritty and determined Elinore. They will learn about her background and about her hard life as a homesteader. Beautiful color illustrations are found throughout and enhance the text. Elinore's letters describe the beauty of the new land she had come to from Colorado. "It seemed as if we were driving through a golden haze. The violet shadows creeping up the hills, while the snow-capped peaks were catching the last rays." The filing of a claim for land, building a log house, the coming of a new baby and snowstorms that leave ten to fifteen feet of snow are described in Elinore's letters. The letters also reveal to the reader that in spite of great hardships, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated with great feasting and joy. A variety of pages throughout the text offer background information on a variety of subjects such as: frontier medicine, children in the West, Wyoming, and where the buffalo roam. The narrative is clear and written with details that will appeal to the readers senses. End notes include a glossary, resources to learn more about ranching and homesteading, websites about women in the west and an index. This is a good resource for the home, classroom or school library. 2003, Benchmark Books, Ages 9 to 12.
— Sue Reichard