By Michael Spooner
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Hardcover, 9780805067507, 214pp.)
Publication Date: September 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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I knelt down by one of the grizzly's tracks. It was larger than my hand where his pads had pushed the mud out wide. I pressed my palm into the hollow of his track and stretched my fingers out to touch his claw marks one by one. My scalp tingled.
"Sure was a big one, wasn't he?"
I spun around and something knocked me flat on my stomach. Before I could roll over, a heavy knee pinned my shoulder to the ground and a hard hand yanked my head back by the hair.
"It's me again, white boy," breathed Haggard in my ear. "Don't say you're not glad to see me." --From Daniel's Walk
"Your daddy's in trouble, boy," said the Voice.
Daniel's father is an experienced trapper who knows the Rocky Mountains. So what could have happened to him? Yet Daniel is haunted by the Voice and its message. He decides to leave his home in Missouri to search for his pa.
But it is 1844 and the West is a wilderness. Trouble lurks all along the Oregon Trail, and trouble finds Daniel right away. One stormy night he sees a frightening, scar-faced man stealing horses--and the horse thief sees him, too. Daniel barely escapes being shot. He joins a wagon train headed west, but for him there is no safety in numbers. As surely as he knows that his father is in danger, he knows that the scar-faced man will try to kill him again.
Slowly Daniel comes to understand that he and his father are not the only ones in danger. There are some who will prosper from the westward expansion, but many more-white and Indian alike-will suffer as their land and their lives are destroyed.
Michael Spooner writes both poetry and prose for children. He is the author of A Moon in Your Lunchbox and is the director of the Utah State University Press. He lives with his family in Logan, Utah.