Journey to Nowhere

( 9 )

Overview

In the spring of 1815, Remembrance "Mem" Nye and her family set off in a covered wagon from their farm in Connecticut to the western New York wilderness. Mem and her mother see it as a journey to nowhere since there won't be any houses or neighbors, just endless forest. Their journey is filled with the uncertain danger of wild animals, raging storms, and cruel strangers. When Mem is unexpectedly separated from her family, she must face every danger alone while hoping to find her...

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Overview

In the spring of 1815, Remembrance "Mem" Nye and her family set off in a covered wagon from their farm in Connecticut to the western New York wilderness. Mem and her mother see it as a journey to nowhere since there won't be any houses or neighbors, just endless forest. Their journey is filled with the uncertain danger of wild animals, raging storms, and cruel strangers. When Mem is unexpectedly separated from her family, she must face every danger alone while hoping to find her family again.

In 1815, while traveling by covered wagon to settle in the wilderness of western New York, eleven-year-old Mem experiences a flood and separation from her family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Migrating from Connecticut to upstate New York in 1815, 11-year-old Mem's family meets one near-fatal disaster after another. "The concept of hapless pioneers is deliciously intriguing," said PW. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) r
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mem's family is hit by the Murphy's Law of pioneeringif anything can go wrong, it will. In migrating from Connecticut to upstate New York in 1815, 11-year-old Mem is called upon to save her mother by hitting an attacker over the head with a tree limb, save an old man who gets bit by a rattlesnake, save herself after she gets lost in the wilderness, save her brother from a black bear and save her pig from wolves. Meanwhile, her parents accidentally drop Mem off the back of the wagon and drive off for several hours before they realize it, chop down a tree and almost kill their children, forget to properly lash down their wagon so they lose half their possessions, and nearly get swept away in a river after jumping in. The best part of this novel is where the family, alone in the wilderness, waits in vain for neighbors to show up to help them build a cabinthey come a day late, delayed because one of the families' houses has burned down. The concept of hapless pioneers is deliciously intriguing and probably very accurate; their descendants are the legions of Americans who hammer their thumbnails and get lost on the interstate. While it's unlikely that real-life settlers would have escaped unscathed from the consequences of such unrelieved carelessness or ignorance, the family's bumblings will open readers' minds to the hazards and privations of the pioneer life. Ages 9-12. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
It is 1815 and this family is making a journey from Connecticut to the West-New York State's Genesee County. In the early nineteenth century, whatever the father said, went. Remembrance (Mem to her friends) is eleven, and when her father decides the family will move, she has to go with her mother and little brother even though she doesn't want to. Mem's high spirits infect every page of this thoroughly researched and very readable book. Even when she falls off the wagon and is lost for several days, she never loses heart. One adventure follows another until they reach upstate New York. Mem and her family find friends in their new neighbors. The afterword, possibly more interesting to older children, tells how the book came to be written.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8The harsh realities of the frontier are brought to life through the eyes of 11-year-old Remembrance Nye. When her father decides the family is leaving their Connecticut home and moving to the Genesee County, NY, wilderness, the Nyes must prepare for the long trek. Mem's favorite horse is traded for oxen and the family goods are sold to neighbors. The girl learns about the dangers of the wilderness when she falls out of the wagon and is separated from her family, but after some searching and circling, she is reunited with them. After a treacherous and eventful journey, the Nyes reach their new home, and their difficult life continues. Mrs. Nye is frightened and lonely until her husband locates some neighbors, who offer to help in the building of their cabin, and the family becomes part of the community. Mem's strong character and her dislike of "women's work" make her a good match for the wilderness and all of its perils. Without giving a history lesson, Auch teaches readers about everyday life in the early 1800s, thus keeping them interested in the continuous action and appealing characters.Allison Trent Bernstein, Blake Middle School, Medfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
In 1815, Mem's father decides that the family will sell their Connecticut farm and nearly everything else they own to load up a wagon and make the long and hazardous trek to a new home in the Genesee Country of upstate New York. Mem and her mother see it as a journey to nowhere, to a desolate place with no house, no neighbors, no school—just endless forest. The trip is difficult from the start. After an unpleasant encounter with some turkey drovers, Mem gets separated from her family and seems hopelessly lost; the wagon turns over on a rickety bridge and much of the food and their few other possessions are washed away. The family pig—almost ready to birth a litter that will be needed on the new farm—is killed by a wolf, and Mem, too, is almost killed twice, first by a bear, and then by falling tree. Pleasant surprises await them at their new home: neighbors who pitch in to raise the family's cabin and barn, a real town only a day's journey away, and a school. It's an exciting tale, but the novel's real strength lies in the interesting characters and homely details of life on the frontier nearly two centuries ago, when Connecticut and New York were separated by more than a few hours on the interstate. From Auch (Eggs Mark the Spot, 1996, etc.), good historical details and a rattling good adventure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440414919
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 202
  • Sales rank: 971,434
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Auch has written a number of well-received novels, including Seven Long Years Until College and Kidnapping Kevin Kowalski. She has also written and illustrated Eggs Mark the Spot, Hen Lake, and other picture books.

The author was inspired to write a historical novel after learning of the summer of 1816, when snow fell in upstate New York in June and hard frosts killed the crops in July and August. As she began writing about the Nye family, who moved to New York State from Connecticut right before that fateful summer, she realized that she needed to start her story in Connecticut, where the Nyes began their journey. Thus was born the idea of writing a trilogy about the Nye family, starting with Journey to Nowhere.

Ms. Auch, the mother of two grown children lives with her husband in Ontario, New York, in the Genesee Country, where her novel takes place and where her ancestors settled in the early nineteenth century.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2011

    I would Reccomend this book.

    This book was very intresting, and made you want to keep reading. I liked it because it was very realistic, and it grabbed your attention. The only part that I didnt like was the end because it ended in a really bad spot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    A Jouney to the best book!!!!!!!!!!!

    Journey to Nowhere is a very good book. I liked this book because it's about a 11-year-old girl and how she's moving far away from her family, so you can really relate to her if you ever moved. I also liked this book because all the stuff that happens to her makes you think WOW you would never thought that would happen. I liked this book so much i'm trying to buy it on E-bay. Also, I liked it so much by the second day i started reading it I was on chapter 7 or 8, and the chapters sre realy long! You will be off the edge of your seet to find out what happens next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    IT'S AWESOME!!

    The whole book was great. It really felt like you were in that book the whole entire time. It also helped me to understand the Pioneer's life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    Journey

    Journey to Nowhere was one of the best books I have ever read in my whole lifetime.It makes me feel like I am finding the way to the home I never knew. I could actually feel the things that the characters did,especially Mem.I wonder did anything like this happen in reality,years ago...Maybe.But all I know is that I plan to read this book again one day.J2N is too good for words themselves:]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    All three books are outstanding!

    If you like historical fiction(or even if you don't) it's a must read. Don't miss Frozen Summer and the Road to HOme.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2005

    Not as good as you think

    I was expecting this to be a really good book because that's what everyone was saying but it turns out they were wrong. This book is very confusing and boring. The author is a great writer- don't get me wrong. I just don't enjoy historical fiction so maybe it's just me. I just didn't like how Mem kept saying the same things over and over again. I'm not saying don't read this book- by all means do. But if your like me you might regret it in the long run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    The Real Pioneer Life

    It tells you a lot about the pioneer life and how people struggled just to make a home and keep themselves a life. Mary Jane Auch makes you feel like you are right there with Mem and her hardships.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    Excellent book

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I got it,because I don't really like historical fiction that much, but as soon as I started reading it I couldn't put it down! It's really good! It never gets boring and it makes you want to imagine that you're in the story.You get to learn what pioneer life was like,too. Read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    Read This Great Book By Mary Auch Today!!

    This book was outstanding! I would read it again in a heart beat. I didn't want to put the book down and I am not the one who would just pick up a book and read. It kept getting better and better as I read more. Read it today if you like books about pioneers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

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