If you traveled west in a covered wagon
--Would you ride in the wagon for the whole trip?
--How would you cross rivers when there were no bridges?
--Without road signs, how would you know where you were?
This book tells you what it was like to be a pioneer and travel west to Oregon in the 1840s.
About the Author
How did people escape on the Underground Railroad? What was it like to land on Ellis Island?How did it feel to travel the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? Ellen Levine has revealed worldsof fascinating adventure with her nonfiction books for young readers.
Although Ellen Levine enjoys reading and writing fiction, most of her books for young readershave been nonfiction. “Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoylearning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago.”
“Real heroes,” Levine says, “aren't necessarily on TV or in the news. They can be ordinarypeople who are willing to take risks for causes they believe in. Nonfiction offers a way tointroduce young readers to real people who have shown tremendous courage, even when facedwith great danger. All of us have the potential. And one doesn't have to be a grown-up,” sheadds.
When she's not writing, Levine likes to share the excitement of research and the importance ofaccuracy with young readers. “Many young people think research is dull; you go to anencyclopedia, copy information, give it a title, and call it a report.” Using her books asexamples, Ellen explains how to get other, more interesting information. “I may not mention theexact words, but I talk to young people about primary and secondary sources. If I'm speakingwith third graders, I ask them, 'Where would I go if I wanted to find out what it's like to be athird grader?' Most will say, 'Read a book.' But when they say, 'Ask a third grader,' I knowthey've understood what I mean by a primary source of inspiration.”
For If You Were an Animal Doctor, for example, Ellen witnessed an emergency operation on acow. While doing research in Wyoming for Ready, Aim, Fire!, her biography of Annie Oakley,she got to hold the gun Ms. Oakley is believed to have shot in the presence of the Queen ofEngland. “It gave me such a strong feeling about this person,” she says. “That's part of research,too.”
Ellen Levine is the author of many acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Among them:If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, I Hate English!, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King, and Secret Missions. Her recent book, Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, was named one of the Ten Best Children's Books of the Year by The New York Times, and Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association.
Ellen divides her time between New York City and Salem, New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Genre: InformationalCritique of Genre: This book was wonderful for covering basic facts about the Oregon Trail. There were big pictures and simple definitions of new vocabulary words that were age appropriate. Sometimes informational books can be overwhelming with dry facts, but this makes the trail come alive!Age Appropriateness: 5-10
I absolutely love this book. This series of books are so helpful and interesting to include in content studies in the classroom. All of Levine's books, help the reader understand what life would be like in all different situations and times in history. These books do a great job grabbing the attention of the reader and teaching important historical information in a fun way. This book focuses on the time in history when settlers were moving West. It discusses the troubles they face such as Indians and running out of supplies as well as life on the Oregon Trail and living in covered wagons. This would be great resource to include in a history lesson about moving West.
Reason for Reading: read aloud to the 9yo as part of our history curriculum.Comments: Presented in a question and answer format this book tells of daily life for the people who crossed the American West travelling the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. The questions start out with "What was the Oregon Territory?" and each subsequent question follows in a natural order from the previous. The book is very thorough and covers pretty much anything a kid could want to know from how they crossed rivers to how they made butter to what the children did all day long. The answers are written as if speaking directly to the reader and have both a sense of humour and amazement making history fun and interesting. The illustrations, which were replaced in 1992, are wonderful bright realistic watercolours. The 9yo really enjoyed this book. I also found this to be a great entry in the "If You" series.
In the story, there were many wagons. The book is good and cool. ***This review was written by our 10 yr. old, 4th grade son who wanted this particular book.***
This book answers many questions you have. What they did for fun? What there chores were. If you enjoy history you'd enjoy this book.