Olive Oatman is thirteen years old in the fall of 1850 when her father decides the family will live their Illinois farm and go west to California. Olive, her parents, and her six siblings join a wagon train west, but have trouble from the start. Their leader turns out to be unreliable, and changes their destination. The wagon train splits several times, until the Oatmans eventually end up on their own in dangerous Indian territory, because her father is unwilling to wait at the safety of a village for another wagon train to join. Olive fears the worst will happen, and she is right. Renegade Indians attack the Oatmans and massacre most of the family, sparing only Olive and her seven-year-old sister, Mary Ann, who they take captive. Olive struggles to keep up hope during her captivity and to adjust to her difficult new life, all the while trying her best to protect frail Mary Ann.
This report prepared by Rebecca Herman