Desperate Journey

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Scholastic Press, 2006 - Juvenile Fiction - 278 pages
15 Reviews
Two-time Newbery Honor author turns his formidable talents to this riveting suspense novel about a spirited Irish-American girl who helps save her family from ruin on the Erie Canal in the 1840s.

When Maggie's father loses next year's salary and two of their best mules in a bet with Long-fingered John, the family is left desperate for money. They have only a few days to get the heavy cargo in their mule-drawn barge to Buffalo in order to make a much-needed bonus. But when Papa and Uncle Henry are arrested on an alleged assault charge, 12-year-old Maggie, her younger brother, and their ailing mother must fight all manner of adversity to save their boat, their mules, and their life savings. Jim Murphy is at his best in this colorful and gritty slice of 19th-C. life on the Erie Canal.

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Review: Desperate Journey

User Review  - Stormy - Goodreads

Found this on our shelf - Scholastic Publication - 12 yr old girl & 9 yr old brother - Eric Canal travels in mid 1800s. Wonder when our grandchildren would be ready for this? Read full review

Review: Desperate Journey

User Review  - KJ, Madame Librarian - Goodreads

A solid book, but like other things I've read by Murphy, it tends to lack a sense of place and time. And, yes, an accurate girl voice. That said, it introduced me to the world of "canalers" and a economic canal boom that I was otherwise in ignorance of. Read full review

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Contents

Like a Mule
1
Thinking and Dreaming
15
Something Terribly Wrong
27
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (2006)

Jim Murphy is the celebrated author of more than thirty-five books for young readers, most notably TRUCE: THE DAY THE SOLDIERS STOPPED FIGHTING and THE GREAT FIRE, a Newbery Honor Winner. His carefully researched, engaging, and elegantly written nonfiction has garnered the most prestigious awards in the field. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

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