Launi K. Anderson
Aspen Books (Salt Lake City), 1995. Paperback:
Suggested retail price: $4.95 (US)
Audience: 4th grade gilrs
There are two authors in the Latter Day Daughter Series, Carol LynchWilliams and Launi K. Anderson. The books focus on young girls and theirexperiences during the early days of the Church. They draw an associationbetween present day young readers and their historical counterparts. Asthere are two authors, I received the first two books of the series, andwill review them separately.
[Editor: Follow this link to Melinda's review of Carol Lynch Williams's Anna's Gift.]
Clarissa's Crossing, by Launi K. Anderson, chronicles 12 year old Clary who, with her father (the town doctor) and young brother, is on her way to America from England. She sneaks aboard the boat her bedraggled and sick kitten, which she was supposed to have left behind. With the help of 17 year old Eli, a ship steward, nurses it back to health. When the kitten is discovered by her father, she receives only a minor scolding. A powerful storm threatens the life of her young brother, Andrew, and Eli saves him. We eventually discover that her father paid the way of most of the other English passengers on their way to America.
Eli develops a fever and receives a blessing from Clarissa's father. Although he doesn't see Clary again before they disembark, it is impliedthat some day they will meet again, that he will join the church, and thatthey may even live happily ever after.
The book is well written. Ms. Anderson is an engaging author and, given the shortness of the story, she develops her characters well. Asterisks mark complicated words which are explained, in Clarissa's own words, in the glossary (also the case in other LD Daughter Series books).
Both books are easy to read and would likely engage a young reader's imagination.
© 1996 Melinda Steadman