Wilmettie is the story of a 12-year-old girl who travels with her family by covered wagon from West Texas to New Mexico Territory in 1905. Wilmettie is uprooted from her comfortable life on Grandmother Nell’s cotton farm when her stepfather decides to follow his dream and claim a homestead of his own. The journey is fraught with sickness, despair, and dangerous situations―a runaway horse, a rattlesnake encounter, and a treacherous river crossing in which the baby falls into the water.

Along the way, Wilmettie comes across people and cultures different than her own. She witnesses a robbery and later advocates for the accused boy even though he has bullied her. How will Wilmettie adjust to her new home?

Published by Texas Tech University Press, 2020.

Read about Wilmettie in the Albuquerque Journal:

The author crafts scenes with the right doses of tension and descriptions of hardship that hold the interest of young readers.

Johnna Scalia’s black-and-white illustrations and the earth tones of the cover of “Wilmettie” heighten the austerity of turn-of-the-century life in the Southwest that Houser’s words convey.

:: David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal