Click here to purchase Blue Creek Farm on Amazon from Carroll Thomas Bookseller.
Click here to purchase an e-book and here to access accompanying maps.

From ALA Booklist:

"The strength of this novel lies in Thomas' careful historical research and extensive notes clarifying what is truth and what is fiction. Two maps are also included, which help readers follow the events pertaining to the Lawrence Massacre of 1863....(This book) makes a good choice for classes studying the Civil War and will be welcomed for units on Kansas history.


"Those who think pioneer literature might not appeal to females should meet plucky protagonist Matty Trescott, who adapts to life in Kansas Territory in the early 1860s."

"The story of Matty Trescott is alive in its power to create a time and voice. The reader becomes a living spectator to the action."   Judy Cowell, 8th grade teacher, Berlin, Connecticut

Blue Creek Farm is a prequel in that it tells the story of Matty's life in Kansas before she moves east and joins the army. With her mother dead and her brother off riding for the Pony Express, Matty must help her father keep the farm running in spite of a drought and the dangers of nightriders. Matty learns to cope with loneliness and the intrusions of war as she becomes a teenager.

An Excerpt from Blue Creek Farm:

              Looking over towards Massachusetts Street, I could see a small band of raiders heading in my direction, and when I turned back another group was riding right at me as well. My only hope was the river. Spurring Glory, I set off. The sound of shots should have scared me, but somehow it only made me lean forward in the saddle. As a bullet whizzed past my head, I thought of the story that Bill had told about his escape from Indians, and I actually smiled.

              As I approached the river I realized that there was no escape, except to swim for it. For her part Glory did not seem frightened by the noise or the smoke, and she seemed willing to do my bidding. I urged her toward the newly built ferry landing, and we plunged head first into the Kansas River at full tilt. The last thing I remember was the cold water.


From the Author:

Blue Creek Farm was a challenge as the story is set in Kansas, which made the research difficult. We both live in Connecticut and could not take the time to travel that far, so we had to rely on doing the work by long distance. One of us did get to Kansas eventually. After Blue Creek Farm was published, Tom spent three days in Lawrence, Kansas sharing the story of Matty with children in eight elementary schools and two middle schools. At one of the schools in a Q&A session after his presentation, one of the teachers asked Tom how long he had lived in Kansas, and he replied that he had just arrived a few days ago. The teacher was amazed as she said the story seemed so real that she assumed it was written by a fellow Kansan. It was a wonderful experience and a nice validation of the hard work we had put in to the story.