A brilliant UK and Ireland children and young adults’ booklist
Thousand Pieces of Gold
Era(s): 1871 onwards
Lalu Nathoy’s father calls his thirteen-year-old daughter his treasure, his “thousand pieces of gold,” yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871, he is forced to sell her. She is sold first to a brothel, then to a slave merchant bound for America. In a new country, she is given the name Polly and eventually auctioned to a saloonkeeper. When admirer Charlie Bemis wins her in a poker game, he frees her from her enslavement and eventually proposes marriage. The two live out their days on a bountiful farm, a homestead called Polly’s Place in Salmon Canyon, Idaho.
This masterfully told biographical novel is the true story of an extraordinary woman’s successful fight for independence and respect in the early American West.
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