A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon 1845


Seventeen-year-old Lovisa King leaves Missouri for the Oregon Territory in 1845. A Heart for Any Fate, based on the history of a company of real pioneers, tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The family makes the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along a shortcut that becomes known as the ...

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Seventeen-year-old Lovisa King leaves Missouri for the Oregon Territory in 1845. A Heart for Any Fate, based on the history of a company of real pioneers, tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The family makes the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along a shortcut that becomes known as the Terrible Trail.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Crew based this novel on an actual journey from Missouri to Oregon made by Nahum and Sarepta King and their extended family. No diaries or journals by family members have been found, so the author's information about them was limited. Records show who left Missouri and how those who survived fared once they had arrived in Oregon. The story is narrated by spirited, independent Lovisa. Confident that her family's excellent planning and careful provisioning will keep them safe, she revels in the adventure of getting a fresh start in the glorious West. Good health, campfire dances, and plentiful food soon give way to fever, discord, and privation. The Kings and their fellow travelers see their families reduced by disease and accidents, and tested almost beyond their comprehension. Extraordinary effort and sacrifice are rewarded when they finally reach their destination. An author's note and 25 black-and-white photographs are included.-Kathy Tewell, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932010268
  • Publisher: Ooligan Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Lincoln Out of Time Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 247
  • Sales rank: 598,530
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

"The approach I take with my writing is to have my work reflect real life, and yet be shaped into the best story possible. I feel that a powerful piece of fiction can often convey an emotional truth more compellingly than a strictly factual version."—Linda Crew Linda Crew is a recipient of the IRA Children's Book Award and the Golden Kite Award, and her books have been named ALA Notables as well as ALA Best Books.
Linda Crew didn't always have to be a writer. In fact, while attending junior high school in the early sixties, this award-winning author wanted to be a folksinger. By high school, when it bad become apparent to her that she really couldn't sing, she decided to become an actress. Then, at the University of Oregon, her theatrical ambitions evaporated. At her mother's suggestion, Crew switched her major to journalism—and loved it.
Crew's training was in journalism—interviewing, researching, and marketing—and she was encouraged to present the facts accurately and without fuss. But her assigmnents always ended up full of dialogue and she "had this compelling urge to make a story just a little better than the way it happened." Thus, her talent for writing fiction was born.
After college, Linda Crew married her husband Herb and settled on a farm in her home state of Oregon, where the couple still resides today with their three children. Crew leads a full, busy life and admits, "It's difficult sometimes to carve out the time for writing with so many other demands, but it's important for me to do some living. After all, what could a person possibly write about if she spent all day closeted in front of her computer?"

Book List
Long Time Passing"
"Children of the River"
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An IRA Children's Book Award A Golden Kite Award New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
"Fire on the Wind"
Maine Student Book Award Master List 1996-1997
Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List 1996-1997
"Nekomah Creek"
An ALA Notable Children's Book
"Nekomah Creek Christmas"
Author Fun Facts
Previous jobs: "Florist, mail carrier, visitor center receptionist for the Forest Service at Cape Perpetua

"Pets: "One lively black cat named Goblin

"Favorite . . . hobbies? I like theater. I enjoy working with dried flowers, also sewing, especially creative things like doll clothes and costumes. I am notorious in my house for going overboard on costumes!
. . . foods? chocolate!
. . . clothes to wear? jeans or long dresses
. . . colors? green, of course! I'm an Oregonian.
. . . books? good children's books

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo.com

    Lovisa King was just seventeen in the spring of 1845 when three generations of her family loaded up the green, canvas-covered wagons to make the two-thousand-mile journey from Missouri to Oregon.

    Born right in the middle of ten brothers and sisters, Lovisa begins their expedition with dauntless optimism and absolute certainty that her family's superior preparation will protect them from any hardships the Overland Trail may present. Even a last-minute reassignment to her sister Sarah and "bossy" brother-in-law Rowland Chambers' wagon can't diminish Lovisa's enthusiasm for the future that lies ahead.

    But the road west is cruel and indiscriminate, leaving a trail of fallen party members in its wake. The entire wagon train faces days of unanswered thirst, weeks of trekking across the barren plains in blistering heat, and storms of prairie sand so acidic that the only remedy is axle grease rubbed into raw skin.

    As death and disease ravage those she loves, with bone-deep weariness chipping away at Lovisa's soul, she begins to wonder if this expedition really has a terminus and when it does, how many Kings will be left standing when it ends.

    I'm a huge history buff, especially anything pertaining to the Old West. The problem with a lot of us enamored of these tales, though, is a tendency to romanticize a time and place full of brutal and harsh realities. Linda Crew effortlessly sidesteps this trap to capture Lovisa's story as it might have been. Opening A HEART FOR ANY FATE is a general introduction to the U.S.'s great expansion, circumstances leading up to the citizen's migration, and life along the trail itself.

    Lovisa and her family are the heart of this story; searching, like so many Americans at the time, for a more prosperous fate in a new land. Ms. Crew did such a wonderful job creating this young woman's voice, I had to continuously remind myself that I wasn't reading an actual account of her experience; although if the truth be told, I was moved to tears more than once during my reading.

    A HEART FOR ANY FATE is a fascinating and moving depiction that immerses the reader into a defining period of American history and definitely shouldn't be missed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Westward to Oregon

    This is a young adult historic novel, based on true events and real people, about an 1845 pioneer journey from Missouri to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It is from the first person perspective of Lovisa King, a seventeen-year-old traveling with her extended family. Although Lovisa is spunky and often asserts herself, the protagonist and the tone are realistic for the time period. The journey is full of discoveries and hardships, and Lovisa is a woman by the time the journey ends. A joy to read, this coming-of-age story is thrilling, sad, amusing, and hopeful. The back of the book includes historic background, sources, and photos from the actual King family.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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