“With his characteristically suspenseful style, Avi crafts a rousing historical adventure helmed by a spirited protagonist whom readers will love.” —Booklist (starred review)

Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence, adventure, and to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold. But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, Tory stows away. San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, but Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Then her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped, sending Tory on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships. Beloved storyteller Avi is at the top of his form as he ushers us back to an extraordinary time of hope and risk, brought to life by a heroine readers will cheer for in this vivid, absorbing historical adventure.


Avi is one of the most celebrated authors writing for children today, having received two Boston GlobeHorn Book Awards, a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, a Christopher Award, a Newbery Medal, and two Newbery Honors. He lives in Colorado.

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