When Billy applies to the Pony Express, he doesn’t expect superintendent, Mr. Slade, to hire him as a farmhand for some remote relay station called Mud Springs. Amos, the station manager, is none too pleased either. Instead of a strong, full-grown farmhand, he’s sent a twelve-year old boy.
As soon as he arrives at the Mud Springs station, Billy realizes he’s in for a challenge. Situated miles from anywhere, surrounded by vast stretches of bleak, dangerous land, the station is nothing more than a stable and a cramped soddy, managed by a grumpy man named Amos who can’t seem to keep his hired help.
Right from the start, tempers flare as Amos and Billy clash. While Amos is determined to prove that Billy is too young for the job, Billy sets out to show that he can do the job as well as any man and, hopefully, prove to Mr. Slade he has what it takes to be a Pony Express rider.
But life in such an isolated land is full of dangers. Amos and Billy soon discover they have bigger enemies than each other and need to join forces to save the station, the valuable horses, even their own lives.
Orphans Preferred is the remarkable and fast-moving story of a twelve-year-old boy who learns the meaning of bravery and perseverance, and discovers true friendship in the most unlikely place.
Lucinda Pesek –
A Grammy with 9 grandkids, an extensive and avid reader, and as an author. my review of Orphans Preferred can be none other than stellar. I read Srch’s interesting, exciting, and dear story of Billy and his endeavor to be a Pony Express rider, in one sitting. It will be a timeless book, like Kate DiCamillo’s wonderful stories, one to be cherished and read again and again. Beautiful prose and well researched.