"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.