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Stranded: A Story of Frontier Survival by Matthew P. Mayo.

Stranded: A Story of Frontier Survival (Five Star Publishing, $25.95) by Matthew P. Mayo is a novel crafted around Janette Riker, an actual Argonaut of ’49 bound for Oregon, about whom little history has survived.

Janette’s tale is presented in the format of the diary of a fourteen-year-old girl. Janette’s mother dies of disease and her brothers and father fail to return to camp after heading out to hunt buffalo. She is left alone to survive on the supplies in the wagon and her wits through the winter.

Janette wrestles with decisions about staying in camp or setting off into the wilderness, where she is all too aware that she is on the menu for a variety of predators. What would you do?

—Terry A. Del Bene, author of The Donner Party Cookbook

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