Book Reviews of West Against the Wind

West Against the Wind
West Against the Wind
Author: Liza Ketchum Murrow
ISBN-13: 9780816713240
ISBN-10: 0816713243
Publication Date: 8/1988
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Troll Communications
Book Type: Paperback
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reviewed West Against the Wind on + 21 more book reviews
Grade 6-9.
It's 1850, and another wagon train is formed to leave Missouri and travel the Overland Trail to gold fields on the Yuba River in California. Actions of the journey are related by Abigail Parker, 14, who is traveling with her mother and brother to join her father. The only other woman in the party is Abby's Aunt Emma, 18 and pregnant. Train members are constantly apprehensive, not only because of dangers along the way, but also because they know the fate of the Donner party, who were snow-trapped at Truckee Lake (now Donner Lake) in the Sierras during the winter of 1846. Narration of events is assigned to Abby, and this shift from the usual male narrator provides a valuable feminine viewpoint of such a journey and such a group: women's work, work, work; Abby's unexpected first menstrual period; the birth of Emma's child; interpersonal relations of all kindssome violent, all decorous; and the climax of the journey, when the group almost suffers the fate of the Donner party. There is little exposition; instead, constant, frequently dangerous, action follows action, and these generate and maintain suspense. Murrow's characters make readers live and share life and concerns on this wagon train travel.