Book review by Aarene Storms: Walk on Earth a Stranger

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Walk on Earth a Stranger
by Rae Carson

For her own safety, and to elude capture from the wicked uncle she is sure murdered her parents back at their little homestead cabin in Georgia, Leah disguises herself as a boy and flees West, to California and the gold recently discovered there.

While travelling, Lee must not only conceal her true identity, but also her most dire secret: she can sense the presence of gold. Small nuggets, deeply buried veins, gold buttons or rings, and even gold dust caught under a fingernail call to Lee like a sweet song. She knows that some would call this talent "witchcraft." She also knows that in California, her power might make her very, very rich.

But first, she has to get there.

With rich, round characters and plenty of fascinating little historical details, Lee's engrossing journey from Georgia to California kept me turning pages.

Some blood, some violence, and some cussing but no sex...so why is this book presented on the SEX IN THE LIBRARY blog?

I'm so happy you've asked!

The author includes a small group of  men in the wagon train group headed west. Without much detail provided, it is clear to the astute reader (and made more clear by the author's note at the end of the story) that these are, in fact, gay men. It is not a huge plot point, and that's the beauty of it: at last, teen literature has matured to the point where a character's sexual preferences are no longer the Central Issue of a book. In fact, the young men's status as "confirmed bachelors" is less of a conflict point than the status of another character who is Presbyterian instead of Methodist. These details are important, but they are not The Problem.

The story clearly leads to a sequel, but stands alone with a satisfying point of pause while we wait, patiently (or not) for the next volume.


The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS



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