Tracks by Diane Lee Wilson

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Can the railroad that is uniting America also bridge the gap between two boys from different backgrounds?

Shortly after the Civil War, Malachy laces on his father’s boots and travels to the American West to work on the transcontinental railroad that will unite the country. In addition to the challenge of the physically grueling work, Malachy also has to adjust to working with Chinese men and boys, whom he views with suspicion and contempt. Despite everything, Malachy gets by with his love for his fierce new dog, Brina, and Blind Thomas, the most hardworking and loyal railroad horse around.

But after a Chinese boy is blamed for stealing a bag of coins, Malachy begins to reconsider his prejudices—because Malachy is the real thief, and his conscience is uneasy. He begins to notice the many ways in which the Chinese workers are mistreated. And when real danger threatens, Malachy needs to find the courage to step up and do what’s right.

Diane Lee Wilson’s atmospheric writing vividly depicts the western landscape of America in the 1860s and draws you right in alongside Malachy—and his beloved horse and dog—as he navigates a bumpy moral terrain and discovers a friendship he never knew was possible.

About Diane Lee Wilson

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Diane Lee Wilson is the author of Black Storm Comin’ (which won a Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile, was a Booklist Editors’ Choice, a VOYA Top Shelf fiction pick, a Notable Social Studies book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon book, and a Book Links Lasting Connection), Firehorse (which was a Booklist Top Ten Mystery/Suspense pick and an ALA Amelia Bloomer Project pick), Raven Speak, and Tracks. She lives in Escondido, California. Visit her online at
Published April 3, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 290 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When his father dies in the Civil War, 13-year-old Malachy, now head of his household, heads to California to help build the transcontinental railroad.

Feb 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Tracks

Publishers Weekly

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Malachy works alongside mistreated, underpaid “Chinamen,” observing their unfamiliar culture and developing an uneasy friendship with Chun Kwok Keung, a Chinese teenager who Malachy nicknames “Ducks.” With an adopted bulldog and a blind but loyal horse, Malachy battles horrendous weather,...

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Tracks

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