The year is 1684. Twelve-year-old Eustache Bréman leaves behind a life of misery begging on the streets of France for a second chance in the New World with his mom, his sweetheart Marie-Élisabeth, and Marie-Élisabeth's family. But life is tough, with plenty more tragedy and disappointment to come on De La Salle's ill-fated expedition to the Mississippi. Join Eustache as he comes of age in Louisiana, all in a sparkling English translation that's every bit as modern and playful as Camille Bouchard's original French. Squabbling leaders, bloodthirsty freebooters, and a hostile Karankawa nation make for heartbreaking adventure--and occasional proof that "all sorrows end up diluted in the concerns of everyday life." This action-packed young adult novel weaves real historical events and important themes into the day-to-day concerns of a young boy. It is written simply and well, posing some troubling questions along the way. Will God answer Eustache's prayers or punish him for his actions? Will young love conquer all? Or will the men's true nature be revealed and bring about their downfall?