Set during the Great Depression in the Ozark Mountains of southwest Missouri, it tells the story of Hildy Corrigan, who is about twelve years old. Her father has gone to California to find work, and one day she returns home to discover that her stepmother Molly has left and taken her brother and four sisters to Molly’s brother Cecil’s home in Oklahoma. Learning that her grandmother had actually convinced her stepmother that Hildy did not want to go with them, Hildy runs away with her cousin Ruby in hopes of finding her family, but Granny sends a crude mountain hunter named Vester Hardesty to bring them back. However, when the girls finally get to Cecil’s, they learn that Molly has gone to her parents’ home in Illinois to meet up with Hildy’s father and return with him to California, so they need to make a quick trip there. And Vester is still after them. Will they arrive in time? Hildy had given up on God when her mother had died, but as she finds kindness in a boy named Spud, an older couple named Highton, their son Seth, Seth’s new wife Rachel, and Cecil’s employers the Witts, she learns to trust in God again. Roddy is a good story teller, and the book is hard to put down. It would make a wonderful resource to help young people understand the days of the Great Depression. This book is currently out of print, but I understand that an announcement about the reprinting of all of Roddy’s young people’s fiction will be forthcoming. There is no bad language, and a note says of Roddy that “all of his books support traditional moral, spiritual, and family values.”
The other titles in this series are: The Desperate Search (Book 2); Danger On Thunder Mountain (Book 3); Secret of the Howling Cave (Book 4); The Flaming Trap (Book 5); Terror in the Sky (Book 6); Mystery Of The Phantom Gold (Book 7); The Gold Train Bandits (Book 8); and High Country Ambush (Book 9).