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ISBN: 978-0-9851274-4-2

Available at







194 pages
$11.97 in softcover
$3.97 in Kindle

Papa's Gold

by Ellen Gray Massey

Winner of the 2014 Spur Award for
Best Western Juvenile Fiction!


Based on a true story, this is the tale of a family fleeing Confederate Tennessee at the beginning of the Civil War.

      In 1861, some members of the Southern community begin to force their neighbors to join the Army of the Confederacy. Eleven-year-old twins George and Sarah Patterson, along with the rest of the family, set out to escape Tennessee and migrate to the Missouri Ozarks, where their father will be safe from conscription. Along the way, plans go awry and the twins must use all their courage and intelligence to keep the family safe.

      A story of growing up during the greatest conflict ever seen on American soil, told from the perspective of the children themselves. When the responsibility for the family's health and safety is thrust upon them, the Patterson twins discover life is much more than just a game.

Praise for Papa's Gold

      "Papa's Gold" is a wonderful chapter of the Civil War that I truly knew little about. Men of the south were often times forced to join the Confederacy, whether they supported it or not. And was such the case here with the Patterson Family. The story unfolds through the eyes of the 'twins', George and Sarah, both eleven who must help their mother and younger sibling escape the tumultuous times of Civil War era Tennessee into the safer lands of Missouri and the Ozarks. Through their quick-thinking deeds and acts, they are able to thwart the Confederates soldiers on the road who are sworn to take any fighting age men into the southern army, even rescuing their papa from his bondage so that he can get his family out of the Tennessee state lines. Filled with twists and turns, "Papa's Gold" is sure to please both young and older fans of historical fiction and western history.
      Ms. Massey's colorful language, descriptive settings and use of the period vernacular gives the story an authentic flavor of this crucial period of American history. I would keep "Papa's Gold" side by side with such titles as "Where the Red Fern Grows" for those who love stories gleaned from the wilds of the Ozarks.
      ~ Kristen Lynch, author of Silver

      "Ellen Gray Massey can tell a story. Transformers, vampires, and X-men have nothing on her suspenseful tale of a pacifist family fleeing Tennessee for Missouri in 1861. Massey's spunky heroes, 11-year-old twins, George and Sarah, outwit enemy soldiers, scare off outlaws and guard their farm as the Civil War closes in around them."
      ~ Vicki Cox, teacher and author of Rising Stars and Ozark Constellations: Profiles of Courage, Ingenuity, and Success

      "Massey is a master at creating settings. Her love of nature, and particularly the Ozarks, shines through in her writing. In this exciting Civil War adventure, twins Sarah and George are as at home among the Tennessee briars and lanes as they become in the Ozark woods and hills. This tension-filled story will quicken the hearts of the readers and lead them to a better understanding of the great divide that was the Civil War."
      ~Veda Boyd Jones, instructor at the Institute of Children's Literature for over 20 years, author of Betsy's River Adventure

About the Author

      A frequent award-winner, Ellen Gray Massey was one of the charter inductees into the first Writers Hall of Fame of America. She has won fifteen first place awards from The Missouri Writers Guild and has five times been awarded their annual Best Book Award — most recently in 2012 for Best Anthology for Mysteries of the Ozarks, Vol. IV — and their Major Work award for A Candle Within Her Soul, as well as the Guild's Best Script award for her musical play A Life I Can See. Ellen was a finalist three times in the Western Writers of America Spur Awards, most recently in 2009 for her novel Her Enemies, Blue & Gray, and the winner of the 2014 Spur Award in the Best Western Juvenile Fiction category for Papa's Gold. She is also a member of the Missouri Folklore Society. In November, 2012, Ellen was one of five honorees inducted on the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce's WALL OF HONOR in Lebanon, Missouri.

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