Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010.
Emily has been sheltered all of her life living in big Ms. Luella’s house until her crazy driving kills her and her mom. Now all Emily has is little Rufus, her little pet turtle as she is trying to figure how to get to her Aunt Hilda’s house. Traveling by stagecoach is not fun especially when you have never done anything outdoors or been wild. Moreover, there are the Child Catchers and her evil Uncle Victor trying to get her after finding she has a large inheritance from Ms. Luella. During her travels, Emily meets Jackson, also an orphan who will try to teach her how to survive in the Wild West, but can she really trust him? Could he be working for Uncle Victor?
This historical fiction is a great read for American Girl followers. I liked this book a lot more than I thought I was going to and found myself cheering Emily and little Rufus. Naylor does a fantastic job at creating remarkable characters with distinct personalities and traits. The book includes lovely sepia drawings and each chapter end with big bold cliffhangers. Check it out at our library.