All We Left Behind
"California ought to be beautiful…for all we left behind in getting here."
- Virginia Reed
It is 1846, and thirteen-year-old Virginia Reed is pioneering two-thousand miles from Illinois to California with her parents, younger sister and brother, and the Donner family. She’s proud to ride ahead of the wagon train each day beside her beloved father, James.
But enthusiasm turns to alarm when her father and other party leaders make decisions that put the families dangerously behind schedule. Provisions dwindle. Hardships mount. Anger erupts. In a frantic effort to reach California before winter, the Donner Party takes an untried shortcut, with devastating consequences.
Virginia painfully realizes the fallibility of the adults in her life and begins to rely on her own judgment. When the party becomes trapped in the Sierra by early snows, she must find the courage to defy her father in order to save the rest of the family.
All We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party is available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at the following historical sites and specialty bookstores:
Placerville News Company, Placerville, CA
Donner Memorial Historic Park, Truckee, CA
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, CA
Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, Coloma, CA
California Trail Historic Interpretive Center, Elko, NV
Fort Bridger State Historic Park, Fort Bridger, WY
Fort Laramie Museum and Visitor Center, Fort Laramie, WY
Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard, NE
Independence National Trails Museum, Independence, MO
Sharpsteen Museum, Calistoga, CA
Cuppa Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, CA
TruckeeDonner Chamber of Commerce, Truckee, CA
Word After Word Books, Truckee, CA
Mono Basin Visitor Center, Bishop, CA
The Kindle e-book version is available from Amazon.