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Recommended age 12-18
210 minutes
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LONESOME TRAIL, THE (BOOK) cover image Click to play video trailer
An historical fiction drama, The Lonesome Trail tales tells a captivating story about faith and history. This is definitely a must read.

The Lonesome Trail follows the story of Brent Carson, a preacher who moves to a small mining town to spread the word of God. Determined to promote acceptance and unity regardless of race and ethnicity, Brent teams up with the local teacher to help the new visitors feel welcome in their new home. However, their efforts are met with resistance from Mike McCray, the town's founder, who begins to scheme against them in a bid to push them out of the town. Brent must navigate through these challenges as he stands up for his beliefs and tries to bring the community together in the face of adversity.

The Lonesome Trail is a powerful and thought-provoking read. The Civil War was a turning point in American history, and the issues of faith and racism were central to the conflict. The Lonesome Trail effortlessly delves into these topics that shed light on the complex and painful legacy of racism in the United States. Author Arlette Thomas-Fletcher wrote this book with such sensitivity and empathy which makes this an easy and digestible read. You can tell this book is grounded in historical research and offers a nuanced and complex perspective on the issues it explores. The Lonesome Trail has the potential to be a valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation about race in America. The book is well written, but since it is written in the third person, I didn't feel greatly connected with the characters.

The message of The Lonesome Trail emphasizes the importance of standing up for one's beliefs, even in the face of opposition, and working towards a common goal of building a stronger and more united community.

I give The Lonesome Trail 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 plus adults. It is available now through online book retailers.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19

The most appealing thing about the book, The Lonesome Trail, is definitely the story. Also, if you are a fan of the Wild West or enjoy action this is the book for you. I really enjoyed the part when Jonah returns home after being away for so long. Something that makes this book suitable for a youth audience is the vocabulary, which is not too hard to read.

The storyline follows Elizabeth Turner, a teacher in the town of Red Springs. One day a new preacher comes to town and for Elizabeth, it is love at first sight. She immediately introduces herself to him and he does the same. When Preacher Brent Carson offers to walk Elizabeth back to the school house, another man in town, Mike McCray becomes furious and, from that day on, he tries to get Preacher Brent and all the other homesteaders out of Red Springs. McCray and his men repeatedly attempt to scare people off, but they choose to stay. Many years go by and no one leaves, but there continues to be trouble between Preacher Brent and Mike McCray.

The storyline flows very well; it doesn't change too big too fast. And, it doesn't get confusing at all. This book held my attention from start to finish. The buildings in the town and the people, as shown on the cover, look like they are from back in the day. The characters in this book portray many stereotypes; for example, the McCrays are mean and cruel while the Carsons are the complete opposite. The Carsons are peaceful to the McCrays, but the McCrays just don't like them. The problem in the book is when Mike McCray's son, Jonah leaves and betrays his family. He realizes how wrong he was and returns home.

The vocabulary and concepts are all suitable for its targeted age group of 12 to 18-year-olds. One special feature I noticed is the side bar, where you can scroll through different chapters and pages.

The book has lots of entertainment elements -- the first one is the storyline itself. Another thing that is entertaining are the pictures for each chapter. The book may make kids want to read more books like this, helping with their education.

I give The Lonesome Trail 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now at online retailers.

By Gavin S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Lonesome Trail is very similar to the story from the New Testament of the prodigal son, set in the Wild West. There is intrigue, a love interest and solid Christian values. The book keeps your attention.

This is an exciting and easy to read book about the people who settled the American west and the influence of Christianity. It contains all the necessary ingredients to make a good western story - the land owner that is in love with the beautiful school teacher, a good looking preacher who also is in love with the school teacher, cowboys, dance hall ladies and settlers. The characters are well constructed and message of forgiveness is easy to understand. It has a coming-of-age story about two teenage brothers and their struggle to become men.

The story line is easy to follow and illustrates what it must have been like for people coming from the east to settle in Wild West. There are several plot twists which makes it exciting to read. The book explains how the Homestead Act allowed settlers to claim free land in the west after the Civil War. The tension between the land owners and the settlers accurately reflects what occurred as new people moved across the west. It also incorporates the tension between the white land owners and the Black settlers. The story involves an angry land owner whose family established the town and a preacher who believes that the settlers should be able to lay claim to land under the Homestead Act. The landowner tries to get the settlers to leave by sending his son to kill the preacher, but in the end, the landowner's son is not able to do it. He tells his dad that the preacher's God is "bigger than his gun." The book explains the story of the Prodigal Son who leaves his family to become an outlaw is welcomed back to the family with open arms. The words and sentence structures are appropriate for children between the ages of 12 to 18 and it may expand their vocabulary. The book also teaches important Christian concepts.

The book's cover perfectly fits the story; it shows the main characters and it is easy to see the tension between the land owner, the preacher and the settlers. There are also interesting pictures with western themes at the beginning each chapter that hint about what the chapters are about. The names of the chapters are very interesting.

The message of forgiveness is suitable for a youth audiences.The book teaches about the Christian value of forgiveness in a way that is very easy to understand. The book may very well motivate children to read more books about the West and will definitely increase their vocabulary.

I give The Lonesome Trail 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now at online book retailers.

By Pamela L., KIDS FIRST!

The Lonesome Trail is a story about forgiveness, God's love, and a family's journey West. It is set in a fictitious town in Montana called Red Springs. It focuses on the impact of a tyrant who as a result of his own hardship causes pain and turmoil to homesteaders who are moving to the territory. The book takes the reader on a journey of two families dealing with romance, love, and betrayal. It is a God-focused story that shows how a Boston raised preacher comes to the old West to bring the message of the Lord to the people of this small town.
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