A Book for Black-Eyed Susan

Written by Judy Young
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
Sleeping Bear Press, 2011

For an autographed copy email Doris by clicking here.






Ten-year-old Cora and her family leave their home in Missouri hoping for a bright future. But the journey west by wagon train is harsh, and tragedy strikes swiftly and unexpectedly. Now Cora and her father must steel themselves for a different life from what they had carefully planned.

Seeking solace for her loss, Cora looks to the past to craft a link to a new life. In so doing, she finds reserves of strength and renewed sense of meaning and purpose to help face the challenges ahead.

Against the backdrop of the Oregon Trail unfolds a story of perseverance and enduring family love.

Awards for A Book for Black-eyed Susan

2012 Storytelling World Honor Award
2012 Kansas National Educational Association Reading Circle List
2011 National Parenting Publications Awards Gold Winner
2011 Society of School Librarians International Honor Award
2011 Chicago Parents Magazine Best Book List

"This is a story of heartbreak and resolve, of the punishing tribulations that were once part and parcel of the frontier experience… Young’s telling is raw but tempered by an oblique approach to the cruelest moments and softened by a lovely chance encounter years later, the type of encounter that would only happen if one took the time and effort to fashion a book from the scraps of a life with little comfort and fewer promises." - Kirkus Reviews

"Realistic watercolor images reveal the intricacies of pioneer life and the emotional turmoil of the characters. An engaging introduction to life during the Westward expansion." - School Library Journal

"A Book for Black-Eyed Susan caught my eye the moment I saw it. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful!  The entire book looks like it is filled with watercolor paintings.  The artwork alone is enough to make you want to buy the book; however, the story is just as captivating…I found that the detailed illustrations sparked several different conversations with my children." - Old Schoolhouse Magazine