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McKernan, Victoria.
New York : Knopf, p2009, c2009
ISBN 0375937501 
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
If you enjoyed playing the computer game Oregon Trail, The Devilís Paintbox by Victoria McKernan is for you. It takes the grainy greenish picture of the old game and paints a vivid picture of what life on the Oregon Trail might have been like. The book chronicles a young manís journey into adulthood in the Wild West, starting at age 15, poor and destitute, eating a grasshopper a day if lucky to stay alive- into turning into a man working off a debt to himself and others. Aiden relentlessly tries to protect and at the same time allow for his sister to grow up. Aiden, during the journey, befriends some unlikely candidates and in the end is forced to go against his white society in aid of his Native American friends in the struggle against smallpoxthe devilís paint. Aiden and his younger sister Maddy endure hardships unknown to readers of today, all the while maintaining an ever-present desire to move onward and upward. The book is not so much uplifting as is it insightful, and even inspiring. The Devilís Paintbox is a gripping historical fiction that does not gloss over events of old, rather tells of life as an everyday struggle to survive, and survive knowing that you did what you had to do.
Prepared by: Jen Seay for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees, 2010-2011
SUBJECTS:     Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.) -- Fiction.
                        Overland journeys to the Pacific Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        West (U.S.) -- History -- Fiction.
                        Seattle (Wash.) -- History -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.

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