Dear Levi: Letters from the Overland Trail

Overview

In 1851, 12-year-old orphan Austin Ives joins a wagon train headed for California.  As he makes his way across the country, Austin writes home to his brother Levi, describing life on the rugged Overland Trail.  Extensively researched, with episodes based on true incidents, "the epistolary format and character development offer solid reading."—Booklist  

An IRA Teachers' Choice  

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Overview

In 1851, 12-year-old orphan Austin Ives joins a wagon train headed for California.  As he makes his way across the country, Austin writes home to his brother Levi, describing life on the rugged Overland Trail.  Extensively researched, with episodes based on true incidents, "the epistolary format and character development offer solid reading."—Booklist  

An IRA Teachers' Choice  

Twelve-year-old Austin Ives writes letters to his younger brother describing his three-thousand-mile journey from their home in Pennsylvania to Oregon in 1851.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Woodruff presents a bounty of information in a format that will be especially valued as a classroom readaloud."—Bulletin, Center for Children's Books.  
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This epistolary novel, about a boy on a wagon train in 1851, was inspired by pioneer diaries. Ages 10-13. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Austin Ives, 12, heads West in 1851 with a wagon train and writes letters to his younger brother, who remains in Pennsylvania. An orphan, Austin is traveling with the Morrison family and plans to settle on the Oregon land his father claimed before he died. The book's epistolary form makes exposition somewhat awkward and doesn't allow for much sustaining of mood. Still, the boy's voice rings true as he describes his adventures and draws the characters of the Morrisons; his friends, boaster Hiram and abused Frank; and the colorful trail cook, Reuben, who wears a coat covered with buttons from all the folks he's met in his travels. Woodruff doesn't spare the real sorrows of pioneer journeys-illness, death, lack of water, fights between travelers, and the threat of hostile Indians. Austin's final difficulties are resolved a bit too easily, but readers will enjoy the happy ending. This tale, with its occasional pencil illustrations and short chapters, would make a good classroom read-aloud.-Sally Bates Goodroe, Houston Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679885580
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 172,989
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 7.61 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Wow! I am suprised at this book

    You people who are looking for an adventuring fun book, Dear Levi is the book for you. Although I was forced to read it for school it was great. It was the best book I had ever read at school. Austin has to travel on the Oregon Trail to go and claim his fathers land. He writes letters to his brother that he had to leave back home. All the way he goes through challenges that normal families in that time would face. It is based on true diaries left behind by the people who actually went on the Oregon Trail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    If you like history this is for you!

    If you are looking for a book that will have you on your toes waiting for the next part to happen, Dear Levi is the book for you. It takes you back to the 1850¿s and what life was like travelling west after the Louisiana purchase. The suspense of what is happening next makes you want to read more. When it takes you back to the 1850¿s it puts a picture in you mind of what it could have been like. Picture Indians on a mad rampage for their old land back. I highly recommend this book for enthused history buffs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

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