Monday, February 27, 2012

Joshua's Oregon Trail Diaries

Westward to Home and A Perfect Place, Joshua's Oregon Trail Diaries (1 and 2), by Patricia Hermes

I just finished reading Book 2 with 8-year-old Kieran. We are going to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City over spring break, and I wanted Kieran to have some historical context for the museum. I had tried to interest him in Little House on the Prairie, but either he was too young at the time or he was better able to relate to the male narrator. (Or perhaps it was the idea of traveling to Oregon that interested him.)

These books are very easy to read--he could have easily read them himself but instead I read to him while he was in bed. They depict the trail and homesteading from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy.
The only difficult thing about the books was the high number of deaths and tragedies. And it doesn't end when they finally arrive in Oregon. One of the deaths at the end of Book 2 (of Joshua's grandfather) really took the wind out of our sails, and at that point Kieran did not want me to read any more! A few days later, though, he wanted me to finish.

The books served their purpose: I know that Kieran will be able to relate more to what we see at the interpretive center...and 5-year-old Nicholas, too!

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