Moss (Amelia's Notebook, 1995) offers another hand-lettered diary, but this time goes back in history to 1850, for an account of a journey by wagon train from Illinois to California. In buoyant, gossipy, sometimes irreverent entries, ten-year-old Rachel records incidents (all, readers are assured, drawn from actual 19th-century journals) and observations at every stage, from the bustling Missouri River crossing (""Pa says it is so crowded you cannot find a place to piss in peace"") through the Sierra Nevadas, where the Donner Party came to grief, and on to a new home along the Sacramento. Passing many relics and remains of less-fortunate travelers, the group of families survives plenty of hardship, while Rachel enjoys a succession of personal adventures, switching to boys' clothing when an ox eats her wool dress and trading her red hair for a Pawnee's pony. Printed on lined, sometimes stained paper, the text presents no legibility problems, and is enhanced by a plentitude of small colored drawings. Young armchair explorers will find Rachel an entertaining guide to the trails and trials of the westward movement.