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Based on true-life histories, Buffalo Flats shares the epic, coming of age story of Rebecca Leavitt as she searches for her identity in the Northwest Territories of Canada during the late 1800s.
Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Leavitt has traveled by covered wagon from Utah to the Northwest Territories of Canada, where her father and brothers are now homesteading and establishing a new community with other Latter-Day Saints. Rebecca is old enough to get married, but what kind of man would she marry and who would have a girl like her—a girl filled with ideas and opinions? Someone gallant and exciting like Levi Howard? Or a man of ideas like her childhood friend Coby Webster?
Rebecca decides to set her sights on something completely different. She loves the land and wants her own piece of it. When she learns that single women aren’t allowed to homestead, her father agrees to buy her land outright, as long as Rebecca earns the money —480 dollars, an impossible sum. She sets out to earn the money while surviving the relentless challenges of pioneer life—the ones that Mother Nature throws at her in the form of blizzards, grizzles, influenza and floods, and the ones that come with human nature, be they exasperating neighbors or the breathtaking frailty of life.
Buffalo Flats is inspired by true-life histories of the author’s ancestors. It is an extraordinary novel that explores Latter-Day Saints culture and the hardships of pioneer life. It is about a stubborn, irreverent, and resourceful young woman who remains true to herself and discovers that it is the bonds of family, faith, and friendship—even romance--that tie her to the wild and unpredictable land she loves so fiercely.
About the Author
Martine Leavitt is the author of several award-winning books for young readers, including Calvin (winner of the Governor General’s Award), My Book of Life by Angel (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year) and Keturah and Lord Death (finalist for the National Book Award). She teaches in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she is serving as the Katherine Paterson Endowed Chair. Martine lives in High River, Alberta. Visit her at martineleavitt.com.
★ "[An] enticing historical novel. . . . Through deliberately paced, relationship-driven storytelling overflowing with witty humor and gritty Western imagery, Leavitt (Calvin) presents Rebecca's faith as a tender, sometimes fraught, ever-evolving dynamic that honors those struggling to define themselves within religious traditions."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ "A vivid celebration of life and insightful exploration of faith, this novel proves the enduring importance of sometimes undervalued historical fiction for YAs. ."—Booklist, Starred Review
"An excellent addition to any YA historical fiction collection."—School Library Journal
"Leavitt’s writing is suffused with the beauty of the earth and sky."—The Horn Book