Cover illustration by Vince Natale
LEAVING ELDORADO, published in paperback by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company in 2014, is a young adult historical novel set in a gold-mining town in New Mexico.
Originally published as a hardback by Houghton Mifflin, LEAVING ELDORADO, won many awards. Named recently as an exemplar by Common Core State Standards, the book is available again for new readers.
The protagonist Maude must fend for herself after her mother dies and her father's "gold fever" inspires him to take off for the Yukon. Desperate to leave the frontier town and become an artist, she takes a job in a boardinghouse. But young women on their own in the 1890s are not only frowned upon but looked at with scorn and suspicion. To Maude, whose strong will tends to get her in trouble, her new life seems downright unbearable. Luckily, the few special friendships she forms help her achieve her dream.
Joann Mazzio also wrote the teen novel THE ONE WHO CAME BACK. She lives and writes in Pinos Altos, New Mexico.
"Take off those stupid glasses
"In bold letters gouged into two unpainted boards, the sign said: SANDIA MTN. TRAPPERS & GOLD-MINING CO. The sign, nailed high on the trunk of an old fir tree, was hidden by the drooping branches. The two partners knew it was there. If they wanted to look, they could see it from where they worked by the edge of the stream." The One Who Came Back, Houghton Mifflin Co.
"Mama, it's been over a month now since you left me. Da and Uncle Rab spend the week up at their claim, only coming in on Saturday to get supplies. I pass my days and nights alone except for Daisy. Of course, I don't spend my nights with Daisy. She's tethered under the lean-to. In my mind, I talk with you but your voice is getting faint...Dear Mama, you are probably anxious to join the angels in Heaven, but please stay by my side for just a little while longer."
Leaving Eldorado, Houghton Mifflin Co.
"'Take off those stupid glasses, Boone. Jesse James didn't wear sunglasses when he held up a train,' Mag Sullivan snapped. To back up her order, she spat a great gob that sailed off past the broad sides of her horse before the saliva fell to the ground." The Sullivan Theatrical Troupe Presents ...
"My parents are archaeologists, which explains a lot of things. They named their first child Aphrodite because Father was digging at a Greek temple of the goddess Aphrodite when my sister was born. Imagine being named for the goddess of love. My brother was named Flinders for Sir Flinders Petrie who is called the Father of Modern Archaeology. It could have been worse. They could have named my brother Sir. I'm Alice Ann, last born, and named for my grandmother. She is a wonderful woman and is said to be a brilliant professor of mathematics, but I want to be something archaeological, too." Found! Nine-onia Discovered.
"Kirkla and her mother Kybele and their entourage had been put in the guest palace. It was not the best that Mount Olympus had to offer. The best was taken by Zeus and Hera, and the rest of the Twelve Immortals, as they called themselves. But as her mother said over and over, 'It's only for a short time. Just be patient. But do be careful. These Greek goddesses are jealous.' When she said this, Kybele pulled herself into an imposing posture and stroked her ample bosom. In her double-honeyed but powerful voice, she added, 'Of course, they have every reason to be jealous.' Kirkla, Teenage Goddess.
** "Dancing the Cotton-Eye Joe," CRICKET Magazine,3/1994
** "My Name is Savitra," CRICKET Magazine, 9/1995
** "Apple Butter Time," CRICKET Magazine, 11/1997
** "Focal Point in History:The C.S.Fly Photographs," CRICKET Magazine, 3/1999
** "Courtesy of Mr. Hitler and Emperor Hirohito," CRICKET Magazine, 9/2002
** "The Bogeys of Old Lucky Mine," SPIDER Magazine,
E-MAIL ME FOR REPRINT RIGHTS TO THESE TITLES