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Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie : The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 (Dear America)
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell 1847 - Dear America Author:Kristiana Gregory Hattie Campbell is 13 years old in 1847 when her parents decide to sell their farm in Missouri and make their way across the Oregon Trail to Oregon City for a fresh start after the death of Hattie's sisters in this title by Kristiana Gregory. She is given a journal for her birthday and told to record both the bad and the good. And so she does. — ... more »Teaming up with dozens of other families, the wagon train begins its six-month journey across the prairies and mountains of the West. Their wagons are full and their hearts are hopeful. Hattie reflects upon the slowly changing scenery, the curiously friendly Indians they meet, and the devastating toll the long journey takes. Many in the wagon train arrive in Oregon City on foot with only a few precious possessions. Black-and-white photos, a recipe for Johnny Cake, and maps of the route can be found at the end of the book.
In her diary, thirteen-year-old Hattie chronicles her family's arduous 1847 journey from Missouri to Oregon on the Oregon Trail.
Now that we're in the North Platte River Valley the air feels dry and thin. My lips are so chapped the bleed when I talk. The only thing to do is dip our fingers into the bucket of axle grease and rub our lips every hour or so. It smells bad, it tastes bad, and the blowing dust sticks.
It feels like we must be halfway to Oregon, but Tall Joe says, no, we've only gone five hundred miles. He also says the worst part of the trail is to come.
Does he mean more rivers to cross...?
I'm afraid to ask what he's talking about."
Gregory (Earthquake at Dawn, 1992, etc.) reconvenes the Dear America series in 1847, as Hattie, her parents, and her two younger brothers begin the long trek from Missouri to Oregon by wagon train. At first the adventure is exciting, but as the days, weeks, and months pass, Hattie realizes what a dangerous and tedious trip it will be.
They cross the prairies, hastening the journey as news of the fate of the Donner party reaches them, but death, disease, weather, and the terrain take a terrible toll. The Campbells lose neighbors and friends until they almost believe they cannot bear to continue. Continue they do: Eight months after they set out, the remaining wagons arrive in Oregon City, just in time for Christmas.
Through Hattie's diary, Gregory brings the rigors of the trip to life, but she also includes the details that kept the settlers going--the friendships and camaraderie that developed and the joyful events (a wedding and some births) that occurred. Gregory brings a sobering dose of reality to an era that's often romanticized; this is a fine glimpse of history on a human scale. (b&w photos, map) (Fiction. 8-14) -- "Copyright ?1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved."« less
This is the first book in this series that I have read. It is very good, and gives you a good view of what it was like to come across the country in a covered wagon from the view of a young teenager. The way that she saw things was completely different then an adult would have seen things. She tells you about the deaths and the births along the way and the way she describes the scenery is so good that you feel like you are really there. Although this book is written for young adults I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about this time in history.
Rachelle K. (storyeyes) reviewed Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie : The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 (Dear America) on
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book several years ago and most of the highlights are still pretty clear in my mind. This was when I first found out why Pepto Bismol first tasted like flavored chalk or charcoal. (The scene where the main character feeds an alleged parsnip to a couple of teenage boys.) However, I don't know that I would advise anyone I know to read this book as some of the themes are more intense than most early teenagers can understand. A sixteen to eighteen year old could probably understand the content and intensity the best.
LOVED this book when I was in jr high. All the Dear America books are great for tweens. It dealt with real life like death, love, obey your parents and all that good stuff and it gives you a history lesson. Highly reccomended.