I've always liked pioneer stories, stories of girls on a wild frontier. Some books stay with you, no matter what. this is the tale of one such book.
This attraction is likely a result of my Great - Grandma Lucy. She was a young girl on the plains. She traveled the Oregon Trail. She made it to Chimney Rock, Nebraska. She had a book of autographs and quotes from the her school chums. We would sit and read from the book. The book was kept in her back bedroom closet on the high shelf. It was the one thing special I asked for from her house after her passing. I was heartbroken when my Grandfather said there was no book. I was given her framed Chimney Rock. It remains a treasure.
Years ago, with a young niece, I recalled reading a favorite story about a girl and her friend at a creek. The boy taught her to carve. No luck locating the book then, no matter who I asked. The search fell to the wayside. Again, I have young nieces and they enjoy reading frontier stories. The book is back on my radar, and I have made a break through in recalling a critical word, willow. I now know that the book was The Willow Whistle. Meigs.org, a family genealogy of the author states: "But her stories are always something more than historical fiction. Each one carries a theme idea for any generation. Indeed, Cornelia Meigs manages frequently, in [her] stories of the past, to illuminate certain problems of the present." I'd say so as the book has stuck with me for all these years.
Next step, using ILL to locate a copy to read.