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Across the Border

post written by Emma Filbrun

Title: Across the Border
Author: Arleta Richardson
Series: Orphans’ Journey Series book 4
Major Themes: South Dakota, Mexico, Family Read-alouds, Christian Fiction, 1900-1950, US History 1900-1950, Central America
Synopsis: A few years after he moves his family, including Ethan and his brothers and sister, to South Dakota, Chad Rush moves them to Mexico for a year!

We just finished reading the Beyond the Orphan Train series again. These stories are so good! I have read this series aloud at least three times now, over the course of about 25 years, and enjoy them every time. They are based on the life of the real Ethan, and written by a masterful storyteller. Across the Border begins with an unexpected twist that Ethan and his family certainly didn’t anticipate!

A few years after their move to South Dakota, the Rush family has made a comfortable life for themselves on their homestead. Now, they are thinking of more plans for the future. Henry plans to get married, Frances wants to teach school, Ethan wants to go to school…and Chad has bought land in Mexico, of all places! The family is stunned when they hear that he intends to move them all to a foreign country.

Once in Mexico, Ethan and the others have adventures and learn a lot about a different culture. The children soon fit in with the others in their village. Ethan gets a job selling newspapers and spends a lot of time with the paper boys. When they lure him into a gambling game and he loses a lot, what will he do? Political unrest makes everyone nervous, and Polly and Ethan run into the head bandit in the area, Pancho Villa.

There are a number of life lessons to be learned from Ethan’s story. As with the other books in the series, he learns more about trusting God. He also learns the folly of gambling; I thought that story was particularly good. There is also an introduction to Mexican culture. And, the family continues to draw together and grow stronger. We highly recommend Across the Border and the entire series for any family to read together!

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12


Links to buy Across the Border:

Amazon: Paperback | Kindle | Hardcover | Audible Audiobook (unabridged)

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Paperback


South Dakota, Mexico, Family Read-alouds, Christian Fiction, 1900-1950, US History 1900-1950, Central America

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