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A Race for a Better Life

America is a nation that was built on the desires of people to create better lives for themselves and their families, no matter what the cost was and what hardships they had to endure along the way. In the novel Cimarron Sunrise, author Brenda Turner brings this part of American history to life for her young readers as she chronicles the story of Maddy and her family, who embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for land and freedom.
After Pa dies in an accident, Maddy and her family must live with Pa’s parents, which bothers Ma. When Grandpa reads about the upcoming land run announcement in the Kansas City Star, Ma’s interest is piqued. Although this could be the ticket out of her troubles, it is not without adventure and sacrifice.


While Maddy is excited about the prospect of the land run, she has some objections and questions. For one, she does not want to leave behind Clara, her best friend in the whole world, and the idea of running with hundreds of other people didn't sound like much fun to her. She also fears for herself and her brother Nick, wondering how they would be protected. After all, a gang of bushwhackers just broke out of the Jackson County jail, and of course the weather was not always going to be calm. To these fears, Ma does what any mother would do: ensures she will do her best to protect Maddy and her brother.
Despite their mother’s protection, the family does encounter some trouble along the way that will keep its young readers on the edges of their seats as the story unfolds. From having to walk narrow planks and crossing a flooding river to contending with villains and facing separation, Cimarron Sunrise offers children both excitement and insight into the things and people who made our country great and formed its character.
About the Author
Brenda Turner is a National Board Certified teacher. She currently teaches fourth grade which gives her the ability to appeal to children with her writing. Cimarron Sunrise is her first published children’s book. Turner is certain to become a fast favorite of her young readers.

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