Walk on Earth A Stranger

Walk on Earth A Stranger

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.
Publisher: New York, NY:, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2015]
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9780062242914
0062242911
Branch Call Number: Y FIC CARS
Characteristics: 436 pages ; 22 cm.

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Library_Jill May 09, 2017

This is one of those rare books that speaks to my three favorite genres in the same story--fantasy, historical fiction (with the added bonus of being set during the westward expansion), and romance. I loved the emotional ups and downs of the story that felt very realistic to me--I would hope against hope for Lee to catch a break as hardship piled on hardship, and then be totally surprised by rare, fortunate coincidences. I loved how all of the characters developed throughout the story, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

MelifluousView May 07, 2017

Lee's journey West was interesting even though it was familiar. I enjoyed the blend of history and fantasy. Lee's relationship with Jefferson was developed well and felt realistic.

cmlibrary_khunter Feb 22, 2017

Deep in the north Georgian mountains in the gold rush city of Dahlonega, Leah Westfall lives with her parents, her father a fairly infamous miner nicknamed "Lucky" who has a chronic illness and her mother a city-born gal from Boston. Lee is the reason her father is lucky because she can sense gold. When rumors abound about gold in California, Lee's best friend Jefferson decides to set out to the West and he asks Lee to go with him, but she refuses due to her family. However, a few days later, she discovers her family murdered and her Uncle Hiram comes to town, with Lee believing he knows of her gold sense and plans to use her. Secretly she plots to run away to find Jeff as he seems to be the only person she can trust. With the help of a local merchant who just happens to be a free black man, Lee disguises herself as a boy and travels northwest with her horse Peony intending to meet up with Jeff in Independence, Missouri. While on the road, she is set upon by bandits and robbed, managing to escape and at least keep her horse. Desperate for food and funds, not to mention fearful that Uncle Hiram is close behind her, she signs onto a wagon train in Chattanooga and manages to make her way to Independence where she hopes Jeff awaits to escape to California.

This adventure is a blend of old Western and just a hint of magic (or rather a super-human ability much like our beloved superheroes), but Rae Carson writes just as magnificently with a little element of fantasy as she did in a fully imagined fantasy world like The Girl of Fire and Thorns series. I love the references to local history, especially that of the gold rushes in Georgia and North Carolina, like the note that there once was a gold mint in Dahlonega, GA, (marked with the “D” that Denver now uses). Carson recreates the sense of rural Southern life with deep spirituality, the distrust yet charitable feeling given to strangers, the dangers of the culture especially for women and black folk, and the spirit of the wagon train traveling the Oregon Trail.

I think you’ll be surprised how things change for Lee and how, despite being a girl and the cultural attitude towards women, she shows courage, leadership, and responsibility beyond her years and the expectations of those around her. Truly, she’s an inspiring role model of a heroine while still staying true to the historical detail. If you liked the Oregon Trail game and adventures, you’ll like this book, and stay tuned for book two, Like a River Glorious, as more magic, adventure, and high stakes follow Lee and Jefferson in California.

h
happycanuck
Feb 06, 2017

What versatility this author has. This book is completely different from her other series. Found the theme of this book unique to others of this genre. Good character development and plot, interesting and effective level of dialogue/language usage. Found the ending founders a bit. Looking forward to the next installment ( in which I think the author will make up for the weakness of the last few pages).

b
booknrrd
Dec 07, 2016

A 2017-2018 Missouri Truman Readers Award preliminary nominee.

Walk on Earth a Stranger is about a girl, Lee, who joins the stream of people crossing the United States in 1849 to participate in the California Gold Rush. Lee has a magical ability to sense gold, but otherwise this is not a fantasy novel. It is historical fiction with a hint of magic.

I was pretty sure that I did not want to read this one. Westerns as a concept make me cringe. But I really liked it! I liked the characters and the way they developed and how my understanding of them changed throughout the novel.

t
twhitehead24
Oct 28, 2016

Lee Westfall is a young girl growing up in the 1800’s. She lives on a wonderful homestead with her father and mother. Since she is the only child, she does what she needs to help the family out: hunt, plant, helps out with the household chores. She also has her best friend – Jefferson. All is well until her mother and father are murdered and she is left alone. Jefferson has already left to get away from his father. Lee knowns who killed her mother and father and will do anything to get away from that person, even dress as a boy. The Gold Rush was on and many were heading to California. Lee experiences many trials and tribulations while crossing the United States with the wagon trail including being found out (that she was a girl). She has to learn that she will be able to trust some and some not so much, especially with her secret. In the end, she will find out that you do not have to be born of the same blood to be family. Loved the historical fiction! As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.” Lee proves how strong she really is during this leg of her journey. Cannot wait to read the second book.

j
jericho_0
Apr 16, 2016

This new book by Rae Carson was wonderful. Leah Westfall can sense the presence of gold. Her parents are murdered and her Uncle knows her secret. It is the time of the gold rush and Leah runs away and heads to California. This is a great mix of historical fiction and a touch of fantasy. I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for book two.

PimaLib_JusdinaNB Mar 03, 2016

Only Rae Carson could merge fantasy and historical fiction in such a way that you forget you are reading either. This first book in a series is a delightful read set during the 1849 Gold Rush. Leah is a strong women who is skilled at hunting, riding, and basically kicking butt. She also has a secret, she can sense gold. A gift that seems so perfect during this time period may prove to be deadly. Even though this book is a bit slow in parts it is well worth the read!

m
maggiemae27
Mar 02, 2016

Loved this book! Awesome, kick-butt main character, fascinating time period, great intrigue. It made me feel like I was there. Another winner from Rae Carson.

Historical fiction with a dash of fantasy and an incredibly strong female lead on a treacherous journey. I loved this story and can't wait for the next installment!
~Alexa

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