In Emily’s Fortune, Newbery Award-winning author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has penned a fast-paced Western adventure perfect for summer afternoons. The story is a delightful departure for this versatile writer, and a wonderful comic romp for young readers.

The heroine, Emily Wiggins, is a shy eight-year-old. She lives with her mother, who works for the wealthy Miss Luella Nash (also known as Loony Lu). Emily is quiet and well-behaved, and it’s a good thing. Miss Nash is of the firm belief that children should be seen (rarely) and not heard (at all).

One day, a terrible carriage accident leaves Emily alone in the world—except for her turtle, Rufus, and some well-meaning neighbors. At this momentous crossroad, Emily sets her hopes on going to live with kind Aunt Hilda in Redbud, a long stagecoach ride away. But all is not resolved so easily. Miss Catchum, of the infamous Catchum Child-Catching Services, informs Emily that she must live with mean and nasty Uncle Victor.

“Now what in a devil’s doughnut should Emily do?” Run away on the next stagecoach, of course. And that’s exactly what Emily does, launching a series of adventures that test her gumption, her new friendship with a (stray) boy named Jackson and even the steely nerves of Rufus the turtle. Readers will find themselves on the edge of their seats asking, “What in pickin’ poppies could possibly happen next?”

With its colorful old-West expressions, delightful illustrations by Ross Collins and inventive use of fonts aimed at grabbing even the most reluctant reader’s attention, Emily’s Fortune is just the book to launch a summer of reading adventures. 

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