Shirlee Smith-Matheson is the author of Prairie Pictures, Flying Ghosts, and City Pictures. All three titles were Canadian Children's Centre Our Choice selections.
The Gambler’s Daughter
Short-listed for the 1997 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice
On the run from the authorities and the angry townspeople of Weasel City, British Columbia, in the early 1940s, teenage Loretta and her younger brother, Teddy, travel with their gambling stepfather, "Bean-Trap" Braden, as he strikes out in search of a good poker game in the Canadian and American West.
Loretta and Teddy try to adjust to life on the run as they shuttle from ghost town to ghost town, jumping borders and stowing away on trucks, sleds, and trains. As the children make friends in places like Butte, Montana; Spokane, Washington; and Ferguson, British Columbia, Bean-Trap creates enemies wherever they go. Loretta and Teddy try to persuade their father to keep on the straight and narrow, but instead Bean-Trap schemes to stay one step ahead of all the sore losers who are right behind him and hot on the trail of his gold.