By Liza Ketchum

Puffin, Paperback, 9780142419663, 352pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2011


It's the spring of 1851 and twelve-year-old Amelia and her family have just arrived in bustling San Francisco. Set against the backdrop of a hectic gold rush town as it grows into a city, Amelia decides to help her family make ends meet by selling newspapers from the East Coast. But when the raucous gang of newsboys tells her "No girls allowed," she ditches her skirts and petticoats to dress like one of the boys. With a harrowing balloon ride, a near-kidnapping, and a raging fire that nearly burns San Francisco to the ground, this book has its fair share of page-turning adventure. But at its crux is a brave girl determined to be herself in the face of adversity.

"Ketchum nicely interweaves actual events into this engaging story. Amelia is a well-rounded character: imperfect, persistent, unsure of herself, and likeable . . . an entertaining read." - School Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Liza Ketchum ( is the author of many award-winning historical novels. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.