My Way West
Real Kids Traveling the Oregon and California Trails
- Debut author and connected and respected artist illustrated this book with her unique and vivid papercut art.
- Provides a valuable "you are here" perspective for children in a fascinating biographical and nonfiction form.
- Source material is actual letters and memoirs of children on the trail. Young emigrants played large roles ranging from hunting animals, to gathering buffalo dung, or caring for babies.
- Includes SEL traits like perseverance, and diverse voices, as well.
- The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile historic east-west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon.
- Most American fourth grades have a unit about their home state. Westward trails went through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, as well as Oregon, California, Nevada, and Washington. In 2018 in Oregon, more than 40,000 fourth graders learned about the Oregon Trail as part of their school curriculum – a huge number of students being introduced to the subject every year in just one state.
- Also of value to visitors of gift stores of Oregon Trail museums, state parks, and visitor centers. About 60,000 people visit the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (Baker City, OR) annually. The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Information Center (Oregon City, OR), Fort Laramie National Historic Site (Fort Laramie, WY), National Frontier Trails Museum (Independence, MO), Fort Bridger State Historic Site (Fort Bridger, WY), California Trail Shop (Elko, NV), and National Oregon / California Trail Center (Montpelier, ID) are just a few of the other locations where the book could be popular.
- There are many books about the Oregon Trail but few of them featured the words of actual child emigrants. Most use a textbook approach to the material and none of them paired real quotes exclusively from children directly with the steps of traveling west.
- Designed to bring modern children into the world of the Oregon and California Trails. Its sections generally follow the trail from beginning to end, but they are also purposefully arranged to create a narrative arc. The exploration of the tensions and dangers of traveling the trail gradually become more intense, pulling the reader from section to section through real stories. All of the young emigrants featured reappear throughout the book, sharing experiences of triumph and of tragedy, adding to the reader’s investment in the story.
- Studyguides and discussion questions will be available.
- Includes bibliography and map.
- Lexile 950L; F&P Text Level W.