Desperate Journey

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Scholastic Press, 2006 - Juvenile Fiction - 278 pages
14 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  - Nitrorockets - Goodreads

The Haggerty family are canal folk. They spend most of the year hauling goods along the Erie canal. Maggie is the oldest and spends most of her day daydreaming and arguing with her younger brother ... Read full review


Like a Mule
Thinking and Dreaming
Something Terribly Wrong

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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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