This deeply moving companion to A DIFFICULT BOY weaves an indelible piece of historical fiction into a gripping adventure that explores themes of patience, courage, kindness, and the true meaning of family.
Daniel Linnehan is an indentured servant no more. He has his papers, his beloved horse Ivy, and new direction in life. But an Irish teenager in fine clothes with an even finer horse raises eyebrows in 1840s New England. After a terrible misunderstanding leaves Daniel beaten, the peddler Jonathan Stocking takes Daniel under his wing. But Billy, another Irish youngster traveling with Mr. Stocking, is not thrilled. Despite Billy's hostility, the two must work together, first as peddlers on the road, and then in a traveling circus where Daniel heals and trains the skittish circus ponies and Billy charms audiences with a singing voice from Heaven. While Billy is determined to leave the secrets of a heartbreaking and dangerous past behind, that past soon catches up to the three travelers, altering their lives forever.
THE REVIEWS ARE IN
★ “Fluid writing and a true sense of history . . . raise this well above the usual. Barker’s characters are nuanced, difficult, and real.” "—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ “Barker skillfully evokes the realities of class, racial, and gender oppression in the nineteenth century through a rich cast, lifelike setting, and complex, compelling plot.”"—Booklist, Starred Review
“A story of grace and strength. . . . Well-researched.”"—School Library Journal
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