A PERFECT PLACE by Patricia Hermes

A PERFECT PLACE

Joshua’s Oregon Trail Diary, Vol. II
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-38900-3
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2002




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