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Joe Henry's Journey

139 pages2 hours


Joe Henry’s Journey, by Marcia Melton, a historical novel for young readers, follows eleven-year-old Joe Henry Grummond and his Pa on an often perilous journey to find gold. When they board a steamboat to go up the “Big Muddy” Missouri River to Fort Benton, Montana, in 1862, they hope to escape the desperation of the Civil War in their home state of Kentucky and make money in the gold fields of Montana to take back to the family they leave behind.
Little does Joe Henry know that this river trip will lead him to untamed wild places where ambush, robberies, claim jumpers, lawless towns, and back-breaking work are the everyday stuff of life in the Bannack, Montana, gold camp. Along the way, Joe Henry learns about many different kinds of people living in the west, finds a best friend, and meets the prettiest girl he’s ever seen. He learns much more than how to pan gold. This frontier territory brings lessons in the struggle between law and lawlessness, vigilantism, and the question of what is justice.
This novel accurately portrays the history of its time and places from the viewpoint of a child and wrapped in a story of adventure that will hold a young reader’s interest.

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