Samantha longs to move back to New York and work as a musician, but for a Chinese American girl in 1849 that dream seems impossible. Instead, when tragedy strikes, she finds herself disguised as a boy fleeing West with a runaway slave. Posing as the boys Sammy and Andy, the two girls join the many heading out in the California gold rush. Along the way, they face many dangers and hardships, but they find unexpected allies in a group of rough cowboys.
Under a Painted Sky is a fast moving western adventure with endearing characters. It also looks at race and gender issues in America’s Wild West. Good for both entertainment and education, it’s a read I would highly recommend.
Recommended ages--12 and up