Mary Peace Finley
Illustrated by Judith Hunt
Nine-year-old Raephy McDowell is NOT a snoop. At least, she doesn't think so. She's mighty curious, though. Who wouldn't be with talk of a brand new town where there's nothing for miles except for the Santa Fe Railroad Station?
When Mary Peace Finley learned how Lamar, Colorado, was founded, she knew she
had a story—a lighthearted, fun story. Her heroine, nine-year-old Raephy McDowell, was one of four children who lived with their parents squeezed into the second story of an isolated prairie railroad station. Their mother was the telegraph operator; their father the ranch foreman. When Mama and Daddy learn of the secret plan to move the station and ‘boom’ a town, they have two problems: How to work around rancher Amos Black who owns the land they live on, and how to keep their very curious daughter from finding out.
Right on track, at midnight on May 22, 1886, the railroad company brought in workers, lifted the station and outbuildings onto flat cars, and moved them four miles down the track. The station was unloaded and the telegraph lines reconnected before dawn. Within two days, families were buying lots and a town was born.
Mary Peace Finley is author of the award-winning Santa Fe Trail Trilogy—Soaring Eagle, White Grizzly, and Meadow Lark. Judith Hunt is the illustrator of many children's books including Prunes and Rupe
"Endearing and deftly written, this new historical novel by Mary Peace Finley is a fun read—and ride. The characters sparkle like dew drops on prairie grass."
– Nancy Oswald, author of Nothing Here But Stones and Hard Face Moon
"The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station broadens the view of the view of how the West was won—not by wagon tracks alone, but sometimes by slight-of-hand and a little larceny."
– Ava Betz, historian and author of A Prowers County History
"An exciting episode from Colorado's colorful history takes on new life retold through the eyes of a girl. Detailed black and white illustrations embellish the narrative and all the splash and color of a Colorado boom town development unfold with style and grace. The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station is a great read for mid-grade readers, holding young readers' attention to the page-turning end."
—Midwest Book Review
Older elementary students will identify with young Raephy and enjoy her story while learning a bit of Colorado history.
—Colorado Country Life Magazine
[Read a Chapter]
92 pages; illustrated
Trim: 5.5" by 8.5"
Publication date: 2010
Available in Audio format.
Also available from Amazon.com.