Bluestem by Frances Arrington

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Jessie and Polly spend all day looking for Mama on the horizon, over the endless waves of grass. But when it is night, and she has still not returned to their soddy, they know she is gone. And, with their father helping his brother miles away, they know they must survive alone. They are determined to! Even if it means hiding in the prairie sloughgrass to protect themselves from the greedy and suspicious Smiths, the only neighbors they have.

Here in this starkly beautiful novel set on the open prairie in 1878, Frances Arrington reveals the raw pioneer courage and strong humanity of two young sisters who dare to face a new world alone.

About Frances Arrington

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Frances Arrington lives in Folly Beach, South Carolina.
Published June 19, 2000 by Philomel. 144 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bluestem

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Despite the girls getting lost at one point in the high, wild grasses, the bluestems that surround their home and define their lives, there is little adventure here and the sisters’ experiences are surprisingly uninvolving as they wait and wait for Papa to come back.

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Publishers Weekly

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The difficulties of a family on the prairie in the 1870s are explored in this story, of which PW said, "Readers will be quickly turning pages to discover the fate of the stalwart heroines."

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Publishers Weekly

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The novel is relentlessly bleak as the girls manage on their own as best they can, but it takes an even darker turn when Polly spots her mother in the distance one day, walking away from home (""Polly gasped and started to sob silently because Mama was walking away, just kept on walking and Polly...

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