Journey to Nowhere

Journey to Nowhere

4.3 9
by Mary Jane Auch, Mary J. Arch
     
 

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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

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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.

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
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:
734,357
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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