Author(s): Susan Brocker
Rumour is flying around the west coast gold fields that Tom McGee has struck it rich and found a nugget of gold as big as a man's fist.
So no one is surprised when next his campsite is found wrecked and abandoned. Men have been killed for a lot less on the tough goldfields of 1860s New Zealand. But one person is convinced Tom is not dead: his headstrong daughter, Charlotte. Solving the mystery is not her first task, though. First, she must get to the coast. A skilful horse rider, she disguises herself as a boy and joins a cattle drive across the Southern Alps. To survive the dangerous drive over Arthur's Pass and to keep her identity hidden from the vicious trail boss, she'll need the help of her dog, her horse and her father's friend, Tama.
She knows she can do it - she has to - but what will she find? And will her new American friend, Joseph, help or hinder her quest? Charlie is in for the ride of her life - and the stakes couldn't be higher.
Finalist for the LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal 2013
NZ Listener Winner 2012
Susan Brocker lives with her husband and many pets, including horses, on a small farm near Tauranga. This is her fourth novel for Kiwi kids; following Restless Spirit and the bestselling Saving Sam and Dreams of Warriors. She also wrote the true story of our Anzac horses in Brave Bess and the ANZAC Horses.