Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Title: Under a Painted Sky

Author: Stacey Lee

Information on series: Not part of a series

Audience: Young Adult

Rating (scale of 1-10, with 10 being highest): 7

Chinese American Samantha and her Father own a dry goods store in 1849 Missouri.  Their store burns down to the ground and her Father died in the fire.  Their landlord offers her shelter at the town hotel where she meets Annamae, a young slave.  Samantha ends up killing the landlord after he tries to rape her.  Annamae helps Samantha escape and they head off to California on the Oregon Trail.  Since the authorities would be looking for a young Chinese American woman and and an escaped slave, they disguise themselves as boys, Sammy and Andy. The fugitives meet up with a trio of kind-hearted cowboys, West, Cay & Peety.  As time goes it gets harder and harder for the girls to conceal their gender especially when Sammy falls for West and Andy for Peety.  I really liked Sammy, Andy, West, Cay & Peety.  They were well written.  The dangers of life on the Oregon Trail and life as a Chinese American female in 1849 were also well written.

Read alikes:

Pirates! by Celia Rees.   A pair of girls disguise themselves as men and join up with pirates after killing someone in self-defense.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman.  When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice.

Outrun the Moon  by Stacey Lee.  Set in 1906 California, Asian-American, Mercy thought her biggest challenge would be getting into all girls school attended mostly by white rich girls but then a huge earthquake happens.

~ Review by Amy Stuenkel

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