Bonanza Girl

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By Patricia Beatty

Ann Katie is excited when she hears that her family is moving East. Her mother, Katherine Scott, packs them up and moves her two children out to the wild Idaho Territories. Her hope is to find a better life, teaching school for the children of the miners in the gold fields. However, things quickly change when the family arrives in Eagle City. The town has hardly any wooden homes, most of the people live in tents, prices are high, and the food consists of beans, beans, and more beans. Worst of all the town is full of rough gold miners, who if they have families they are nowhere to be found.

On the way the Scotts meet Miss Helga Storkersen, who forces her way into the family, taking on their difficulties as her own. With her help, the Scotts open a restaurant in Eagle City, and things start to look brighter for the Scotts and Helga. However, an unintentionally made enemy still looms in the background of their lives, and it would seem that their troubles are far from over.

Bonanza Girl is based on the discovery of gold in the Idaho territories, in 1883, followed by the discovery of silver a couple of years later. I appreciate the way that Bonanza Girl gave a different perspective on the rough gold mining towns in the Idaho Territory, through the eyes of a young girl and her family. It was a very enjoyable book.

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