Children's Literature - Sheree vanVreedeIt is the 1780's, and the Kentucky frontier offers the hope of a new beginning for those settlers brave enough to work for it. The Drake's are just one of the many families who try their luck. Having moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to Virginia, they are looking for a place to settle and raise their family. Dan, Benjamin, and Jonathan Drake must work with their parents to build, hunt, and farm, while still trying to find time to learn, make new friends, and play. This story is based on an actual family and is part of a series of historical fiction entitled "Early American Family."
Presents the challenges of frontier living from the perspective of a family that set off for Kentucky in 1788.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-These books are based on fact and depict the lives of the Drake family, who moved to the unsettled Kentucky frontier in 1781, and the Ward family, who traveled on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s. The Drakes' eldest son, Dan, dreamed of being a doctor, but was expected to follow in his father's footsteps and become a farmer. The Wards' youngest son suffered from chronic illness and was so weakened by the journey across the United States that he almost died, but was saved by herbs the family got from the Indians they met along the way. These personal experiences not only make the books more interesting, but also allow readers to identify with and understand the experiences of their ancestors. While there is some blurring between fact and fiction, and some of the vocabulary is too difficult for the intended audience, the books will appeal to young readers. They have attractive full-color illustrations and photographs of reconstructed sites, detailed indexes, and lists for further reading and historical places to visit, as well as songs and recipes from the time period. Although there are numerous books, fiction and nonfiction, on the early American experiences, these titles will satisfy school assignments and fill requests for recreational reading.-Ann M. Burlingame, North Regional Library, Raleigh, NC
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