‘Under a Painted Sky’ by Stacey Lee

9780399168031Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th, one of my favorite spring titles is being released to the world. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee has so many elements that are absolute reader catnip to me:

  • Smart, strong female leads.
  • Girls disguised as boys.
  • Adventure.
  • Tragedy
  • A diverse cast of characters that doesn’t feel forcibly diverse.
  • Cowboys.
  • Romance.
  • A villain who is believably evil, not over-the-top, melodramatically evilly evil.

I want to say more about it, but I also want to shove it into everyone’s hands and make them read it for themselves, so I don’t want to take away any of the joy of discovery by sharing too much of the plot. This is what the publisher has to say about it

Missouri, 1845: Sammy dreams of moving back to New York for a chance at a future. She is tired of being disregarded because she’s a girl—and Chinese. But she was born in the year of the Snake, so luck is not on her side. When her father is killed in a fire, Sammy accidentally kills their landlord in self-defense. Fearing for her life, she runs away with the help of a slave girl named Annamae, seeking freedom on the Oregon Trail. But the road is dangerous for two girls, so they become Sammy and Andy, two boys joining the gold rush to California. The girls forge a powerful friendship in the face of tragedy, while navigating the road with the tenacity and heroism of Thelma and Louise.

That should be enough to let you know whether this is a story that would be interesting to you. I very much hope it is because it’s a really fantastic book and I only wish that I could go back and read it again for the first time.

Come see us tomorrow to buy a copy for your very own.

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