Rachel's Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl

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9780152018061: Rachel's Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl

In this first book in the Young American Voices series, young Rachel and her family travel by covered wagon following the Oregon Trail from Illinois all the way to California. The terrain is rough and the seven-month trip is filled with adventure--a surprise encounter with Indians, a thunderous buffalo stampede, even the perilous crossing of a flooded river. Rachel's own handwritten journal chronicles every detail and features cherished "pasted-in" mementos--wildflowers, buttons, quilt patches--gathered along the way. Hear Rachel's story in her own words as she and her family make their way to their new home in California.

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Review:

Marissa Moss, author of the popular Amelia's Notebook series, moves into new territory with Rachel's Journal, the story of a spirited 10-year-old pioneer girl who must leave her childhood home in Illinois and travel by covered wagon to the wilds of California. Rachel is entrusted by her grandfather to chronicle the long journey in the form of a handwritten journal. Through her journal entries, we are transported into a world of new adventures and fearsome challenges as Rachel's family and the others in their wagon train make their way along the Oregon Trail in search of a homestead in the Sacramento Valley.

Rachel is refreshingly unconventional: she dons her brother's shirt and britches when one of the oxen makes "a nice meal" of her only wool dress, learns to crack a whip, and makes friends with a young American Indian brave. Children will delight in the day-to-day accounts of life on the trail, enhanced by the notes and colorful drawings Rachel has added to the journal's margins. Based on real diaries kept by courageous pioneers between 1846 and 1868, Rachel's Journal is an excellent choice for third graders and older, and can also be successfully read aloud to younger children, who will enjoy imagining themselves as pioneering adventurers. An intimate look at a momentous journey, this book will not fail to move and inspire readers of all ages. --Aimée Damman

Book Description:

Hardcover published in 1998

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