Book Review: The Year We Were Famous

The Year We Were FamousThe Year We Were Famous by Carole Estby Dagg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1896, the Estbys’ homestead in Spokane, WA, is in threat of foreclosure. On a whim, Helga Estby makes a bet with a publisher in New York City that she and her daughter Clara will walk across the country in seven months’ time so that they can save their farm.

Set against the backdrop of the burgeoning American West and the suffragist movement, this YA novel is seen through Clara Estby’s eyes. She recounts their difficulties in traversing the country. The details of clothing, useful items, and the settings they cross are wonderful to read. There is humor and tenderness, and I really enjoyed seeing Helga and Clara’s relationship pan out over the course of the book.

I would definitely recommend this story for a younger audience–probably closer to 6th grade than high school, as far as “YA” goes.

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