Jake decides that he doesn’t want to go on a mission, and finally comes out and tells his parents. The same day he skips school to go skiing, and gets in a serious accident. When he wakes up he isn’t in a hospital, but has been transported back to 1856, and he’s traveling with a group of saints on a train, who have just come over from England. He discovers that they are a group of Handcart pioneers, and he feels compelled to serve them, and help them survive. They have started out later in the season than the ought to have, but as Jake serves those that he is made tent captain over, he learns to appreciate the gospel in a whole new light.
This story has been done before in the market, but I haven’t seen this story line since Cheri Crane’s Kate’s Turn series. I don’t think they are around anymore(aka out of print). This really is a great book, in fact I liked it better than the Kate’s Turn series. I really was skeptical because the book cover isn’t all that great, and the publisher was really small, and this was a first time author. Yet, I really loved this book! I got way into it and couldn’t stop reading. The story on the trail was fascinating, and the writing was really good. Sometimes, I kind of felt that Jake’s personality was overwhelmed by all that was going on, but that’s kind of understandable, he had a lot of people to help. Jake’s parents felt a little off in the first chapter, but don’t let that stop you from reading the rest of the book. I was bored on a few pages when they go around and meet a lot of people in the handcart companies, but these things really are small when compared to the fact that I got way into the story and really enjoyed it. In the end you really come to know a lot of the pioneer characters in the company, and find out about their daily challenges, and you wish you could be just like Jake. Right there, cheering them one and helping where you can. It’s a great story of courage and faith.
There were a lot of typos and printing errors in my copy. Sometimes the first line of a chapter would be on the page before the chapter started. I would recommend this one to all! It really is one that you should try out if you like LDS Y.A. or pioneer stories. I’m already wondering what this author will write next.
Author’s website: http://www.wdavefree.com/
Also check out this free PDF file! It’s awesome. After Jake got back from his pioneer experiences he wrote all the stuff down he learned about in a notebook! Find out what happened to the people Jake became close to on the trek.
I tried to find a link to this on the author’s website, but didn’t. I had to re-look up the address in the back of the book. It has a cool notebook and post-it-note professional layout, and has the life history, and quotes of many of the characters in the book about their handcart experiences. It’s a really cool extra to read after you finish the book.