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 (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.
A very fast easy read. Great journal dairy entry, true to pioneer life book written in the eyes of a 13 year old girl about the family journey from "Missoura" to Oregon City across the Old Oregon Trail. This book of adventure, both "good and bad" tells of the families trials and tragedies on their way to a new life. Another of the books I should have read as a kid. Wonderful book!
Sam M. reviewed Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (Dear America) on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Grade 4-7. A 13-year-old girl keeps a diary of her family's trip west on the Oregon Trail. She includes joys as well as sorrows, but there are many more of the latter. A woman steals from the other pioneers, children get lost, people die from eating poisonous plants and drown while crossing rivers. But Hattie's personal growth and the sense of community portrayed bring an optimistic note to the journey. Although competently written, the characters and plot in this "diary" are not fully developed. Still, the details of life on the trail will be fascinating to young readers, and teachers will find this title useful for social studies units. Back matter includes historical notes, black-and-white photographs of wagons and pioneers on the trail, a recipe for Johny Cake, the words and music for "Skip to My Lou," and maps of the route taken by the families.
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.
This books tells the story of a young, teenage girl, Hattie, as she travels across the Oregon Trail with her family. As with all the "Dear America" books, it is told in the format of a diary from Hattie's point of view. As her aunt in the story tells her to record "the good & the bad" she does just that, recounting the wonders of travel, as well as the hardships. I enjoyed how the dates of the diary entries began getting question marks next to them as Hattie begins to lose track of time, and eventually gives up keeping track of the days entirely. It gave it a more realistic feel.
I am impressed by how this story handled various aspects of history. It makes the concept of Manifest Destiny easy for younger readers to understand, briefly introduces some historical figures, and covers less-than-pleasant topics like the Donner Party with tact, but doesn't gloss over it either. I am currently teaching my 6th graders our unit on Westward Expansion, and I look forward to reading a few excerpts to them before I put this book on the classroom bookshelf (where it will hopefully be snapped up quickly)!
All-in-all, this a very quick, but quite captivating read for any reader interested in history and a good story! I loved it! :-)
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.