Cover image for Betrayal at Cross Creek
Betrayal at Cross Creek
Ernst, Kathleen, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Middleton, WI : Pleasant Co. Publications, [2004]

Physical Description:
163 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 21 cm.
Twelve-year-old Elspeth Monro, a Scottish settler and weaver's apprentice on the North Carolina frontier in 1775, must find out who is betraying her Loyalist family during the months before the start of the Revolutionary War.
General Note:
"American girl."
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 5.0 78029.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.7 9 Quiz: 41261.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Series
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Series
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Series

On Order



Orphaned 12-year-old Elspeth Monro lives with her Scottish immigrant grandparents in North Carolina. The brewing American Revolution feels very far away to Elspeth and her Scottish neighbors--until someone tries to force them to join the rebels. Illustrations.

Author Notes

Kathleen Ernst received a degree in forestry from West Virginia University. Before becoming a full time writer in 2004, she worked at an outdoor living history museum called Old World Wisconsin for 12 years and as a television writer. Her first published historical fiction novels were The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry and The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg. She has also written numerous American Girl novels including 6 books about Caroline Abbott published in 2012. Her other works include Hearts of Stone, the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series, and the nonfiction book Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-10. In North Carolina in 1775, Elspeth MacKinnon, 12, and her grandparents are refugees from Scotland and the brutal war with Britain that killed Elspeth's parents. Patriots in America want to fight the Loyalists who support the British king, and Elspeth's grandparents are split about which side they are on; they're not even sure about whether to fight at all. Suspense builds, new war breaks out, Elspeth's cousin is killed, and her grandfather arrested. Who is spying on the family? Can Elspeth trust her English friends? At times the author's research shows, and the plot bogs down with daily details--what the people eat and wear and how they make it. But characters are drawn with extraordinary depth, especially the women at home; wounded by past wars, Grandmother is bitter and angry. The shocking solution to the mystery of who has betrayed the family reveals the anguished history as well as the truth about those who join the militia but are not sure why. A competent entry in the History Mysteries series. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-In this new title in the series by Kathleen Ernst (Pleasant Company, 2004), 12-year old Elspeth Monro, her grandparents, aunt, and cousins have recently emigrated from Scotland to North Carolina to escape poverty and repression. They came to the colonies to farm the land, and to have Elspeth learn the trade of weaving. But the year is 1775, and they are swept up in the conflict between the Loyalists and the Patriots in the days leading up to the Revolutionary War. Elspeth loves weaving and her new life in North Carolina, but someone is betraying her family by revealing information about them to the Patriots, who in turn are using scare tactics to try to force her family to join their side of the conflict. The mystery of the betrayal is not the most compelling part of this story; it is the mounting dread that Elspeth feels about her grandfather and cousins' inevitable participation in the fighting.The novel is packed with information about Scottish immigrants at the time, and includes an epilogue explaining the historical aspects of the plot. Listeners will encounter strong characters, palpable tension, and a surprising twist at the end of the story. Davina Porter, a British born American actress, reads the third person story with great emotion and earnestness in a lovely Scottish accent. The Gaelic words are handled easily and there is a nice distinction between the voices of the various characters. For American Girl and historical fiction fans.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.