Debbie Barnes, Trader (e)

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     Though Debby Barnes rode, hunted, dressed and worked more like a boy than a 15-year-old girl, she never forgot her dead mother’s admonition to “never let yourself down,” and strove to live up to the family’s motto: “We live forever.” This meant speaking good English, watching over her frivolous sister Rose, and being courteous, brave, expert and loyal—no small tasks in the wilds of Pennsylvania in the 1750’s. Debby has hit upon a plan to work with Croghan, King of the Traders, to help her family. After finding him and getting his approval, she returns to find her stepfather’s farm burned to the ground, and her sister Rose taken by Indians. In her grief, she takes to the forest, hardly knowing where she is going. Her wanderings providentially lead her to the love and support she needs—in the persons of 14-year-old Dan’l Boone and his industrious, unconventional family.
     However, the Boones are not her only friends and allies. There are Fred Deerfield who, raised in an Indian village, offers to look for Rose; and a man from Maryland looking for a lost sister, whom she first meets in Philadelphia in the company of a young George Washington, surveyor; and Benjamin Franklin himself. Formed both by the wilderness and by a code of honor and loyalty, Debby Barnes is ready to make her own contribution to the building of a new land.

Original Book: 244 pages

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