It's 1893, and for Cissy and her family, a new life beckons on the prairies of Oklahoma. Along with other settlers, they travel to Florence and prepare for business alongside the Red Rock Railroad track.
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Florence, Oklahoma, didn't really exist. It was nowhere, a space to be filled, a dream in the minds of town boosters and settlers alike. Set during the Land Rush in the early 1890s, McCaughrean's story captures the spirit of the new prairie towns hoping to become a stop on the train line to ensure their survival. As children run wild, organize turtle hunts, and stage beetle races, adults create banks, post offices, schools, and stores. Using a larger-than-life language to match the wild dreams of the town's founders, McCaughrean vividly evokes a time and a spirit, and answers a question young readers may never have thought to ask: where do towns come from? It is not completely accurate to say Florence was created out of nothing; what was there all along was a willingness to take a chance and to start a new life. Though Enid, Oklahoma, was the inspiration of this story, it's the story of many prairie towns, and a story that will engage young readers. (Fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)