Alice Rose Tucker hates living in Virginia City, located in the midst of the Nevada Territory. At the time of the Civil War, the town is a hotbed of silver mining. People of all varieties come to live and work there, some growing rich from the Comstock Lode, others going broke. There is no end to the wildness of this western town, from the murderous gunslingers in the saloons to the boys who have their thumbs blown off while playing with blasting caps. None of this interests Alice Rose.
With her mother and infant sister recently deceased, and her father splitting time between drinking binges and working for the local newspaper Territorial Enterprise, Alice Rose will like nothing more than to head out east to be with her aunt and cousins. After all, she believes, Virginia City is “no place for a child.”
Her views start to change, however, with the arrival of the Enterprise’s newest writer, Sam Clemens. His quick wit and unorthodox views quickly win over Alice Rose, and she agrees to help him find ideas for newspaper articles. They didn’t have to wait long to find a big story. When Mulch, the town drunk, is murdered by a hired gunman, Alice Rose and Sam, with the help of her friend Hop Sing, begin to uncover a mass of corruption centering around a valuable mine. A number of crimes, including murder, arson and bribery, eventually lead to a group known as the Society of Seven, a violent pro-Confederate organization fronting as an overzealous Christian society.
As Alice Rose gets more and more involved, her formally dull life is now filled with danger, but she is not the only one. Sam Clemens, never knowing when enough is enough, manages to get himself in hot water as well.
Read Alice Rose & Sam by Kathryn Lasky to see if Alice Rose comes through her adventure in tact, and just how wily newspaper writer Sam Clemens begins his evolution into the famous author Mark Twain.