One Came Home (out Jan 2013) got a starred review in The Horn Book!!!
You guys -- wow. And by Kathleen T. Horning!
Ms. Horning runs the Cooperative Children's Book Center in Madison, Wisconsin. It's one of those places that if you're a children's author you visit, step inside, smell the bookish air. (I mean this -- I visited about six years ago. But I was WAY too shy to introduce myself. Still, being a Wisconsin native, I thought it was cool that this children's book mecca was in Wisconsin.)
Okay, I know you're waiting . . . Here's the review:
"Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt is content with her life in Placid, Wisconsin, where she helps Ma and Grandfather Bolte run the general store and is known as the best shot in the area. Her older sister, Agatha, dreams of higher education, even though few colleges in 1871 accept female students; she has repeatedly turned down marriage proposals from a local boy, Billy McCabe, and has set her sights instead on bookish Mr. Olmstead, whom she admires mostly for his personal library. When Agatha runs away and is later found dead at the side of the road outside a nearby town, Georgie is certain that there has been a mistake and her sister is still alive (the body, left to the elements and wild animals, is in such bad condition that only the dress and auburn hair identify it as Agatha). Georgie sets off on an uncooperative borrowed mule, with Billy McCabe as an unwelcome companion, to try to find her sister, or, at least, to find out how she died. The adversarial relationship between Georgie and Billy provides superb comic relief in a gripping, gritty story that unwinds as a mystery involving passenger pigeons, counterfeiters, and more than one guilty secret. But it’s Georgie’s voice that really brings the story to life, with its original, folksy turns of phrase and self-deprecating humor that make it as entertaining to read as a Christopher Paul Curtis novel. kathleen t. horning"
Very happy here in Chicago!