In 1896 Clara Estby and her mother left Washington state to walk all the way to New York City to save the family farm. The two women would write up their experiences and a publisher in New York would pay them and publish the story. The two fight illness, weather, ruffians, terrain, and dangers along the way. But will they meet their deadline and get paid?
The Year We Were Famous (Clarion Books, 2011) by Carole Estby Dagg is based on the true story of the author's great-aunt and great-grandmother. About this book, Carole says, "After fifteen years and twenty-nine rejections, I have finally given Great-Aunt Clara and Great-Grandmother Helga voices of the forward-thinking women they were."
Carole did an excellent job. While reading this very good book, I really felt the time period and the struggles of these two women.
I'm not the only one who things this book is good. Carole was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion earlier this summer for the book AND won the 2012 WILLA Literary Award for Children's and Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. This award is named for Willa Cather and is bestowed by Women Writing the West. Woo Hoo!
Read about how this story came to be on Carole's site. It's fascinating, too!