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Posted June 29, 2002
GLOWING ILLUSTRATIONS ADD LUSTER TO THIS STORY
Tony Johnston opens his saga of a pioneer family trekking westward with an apt quotation from Louis L'Amour's 'The Quick and the Dead,' 'Many have died, Suzanna, but more will come. There are always people who hope, who wish, who dream.' Hope, wish and dream is precisely what this family does as they reluctantly say farewell to the familiar in New Hampshire, and set out for the unknown. As explained in a reader's note, it would take a family a full month to travel by covered wagon from New England to Missouri, the spot where wagon trains set out for the West. Their journey would begin in mid-May after the worst of winter and when prairie grass had grown tall enough to feed their livestock. If good fortune shone on them their entire trip would last six or seven months. One had to be hardy to endure such a passage. They took only their necessities and a few items that they loved. Joyful times occurred when they joined other families around an evening campfire. Danger lay in wait for them with wild animals and Indians. A broken wheel was a disaster; death a companion. Still they soldiered on until at last they reached the land of their dreams. Ted Lewin's glowing full-page illustrations add a luster to this story of our forefathers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.