Perfect Place: Joshua's Oregon Trail Diary, Book Two

Overview

In Patricia Hermes's Book Two of Joshua's journey West in 1848, we meet the young adventurer once again upon his arrival in Oregon where his new life will begin.

It is the fall of 1848, and Joshua and his family have finally arrived in Oregon. Excited about their new home, they choose a place to build and raise a farm. Though life out West is trying, and they must cope with losses and setbacks, they also experience great success and joy.

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Overview

In Patricia Hermes's Book Two of Joshua's journey West in 1848, we meet the young adventurer once again upon his arrival in Oregon where his new life will begin.

It is the fall of 1848, and Joshua and his family have finally arrived in Oregon. Excited about their new home, they choose a place to build and raise a farm. Though life out West is trying, and they must cope with losses and setbacks, they also experience great success and joy.

Late in 1848, nine-year-old Joshua McCullough starts a second journal, this time recording events in Willamette Valley, Oregon Territory, as his family and others they met on the trail begin to get settled.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the "My America" diary series, this is the conclusion to Hermes's Oregon Trail saga for younger readers begun with Westward to Home. To date, most of the Oregon Trail stories inundating the market have concentrated on the excitement of the journey itself. Few discuss what happened after the journey to the Promised Land was achieved. Hermes's emigrants had the ill luck to arrive in 1848 with its heavy rains and floods—and the distracting news of gold discovered in California in January of that year. Nine-year-old Joshua is confronted with these dilemmas, as well as with mourning over trail deaths and unexpected deaths to come. His narrative is low key and matter of fact, geared as it is to the second and third grades. Still, a reasonable feeling for the problems of this particular year in the Oregon Territory is achieved, along with the realization that any place is as perfect as one chooses to make it. The appended historical note and its illustrations are generic. 2002, Scholastic,
— Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A continuation of the story begun in Westward to Home (Scholastic, 2001). Hermes catches readers up to date as the McCulloughs begins their life in Oregon, deftly introducing Joshua's family and selected members of the wagon train. Details of the life in Oregon Country, where families live in tent cities while facing torrential rains and flooding and work their homesteads when the weather permits, are vividly integrated. Stark realities, such as death from sickness, injury, etc., are included as well. Joshua is a typical nine-year-old boy, wanting to be treated like a man. His beloved grandfather understands him and helps him, but is killed helping others in the floods. Readers of the first book will want to follow up on Joshua's adventures, and those who start with this one will want to go back to find out how it all began.-Sally Bates Goodroe, formerly at Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hermes's newest addition to the Dear America series continues Joshua's journal begun in Westward to Home (2000), where his beloved grandfather has exhorted him to "Tell it all, Josh, the good and the not-so-good." In a voice that seems more than a little mature for a nine-year-old, Josh does just that. It's October 1848 and Joshua McCullough and his family are adjusting to life in Oregon's Willamette Valley. They are forced to live in tents while the relentless rains prevent them from clearing land and building a house on their newly claimed property. And constant financial worries have pushed many of their friends to keep on moving to the promised riches of California. When the rains do not abate, the family and their remaining neighbors are forced to call on the generosity of strangers in Oregon City who take them in. Joshua struggles with his place in the world: he wants to be one of the men, but is treated like a boy. When his grandfather drowns, however, he is thrust into maturity. Just when life is looking about as bleak as it can get, the good times finally arrive: the families band together and build small cottages, two new babies are born, and the families settle into their new state. Though this suffers from the constraints of the journal form, Hermes has written an accessible and exciting tale, filled with complex characters. Young readers who are ready to read chapter books will appreciate the large font, generous white space, short diary entries, and fascinating history. (historical note) (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439199995
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: My America
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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