WAGONS WEST! by Roy Gerrard


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Age Range: 4 - 8
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 An intrepid (if squat) band of homesteaders makes the wagon train run from Missouri to Oregon in the 1850s. Told by Gerrard (Jocasta Carr, Movie Star, 1992, etc.) as the versified remembrance of a woman who made the journey as a young girl, readers will hear the twang in the telling of the experiences along the trail: wind and rain, river crossings, buffalo dinners, friendly Native Americans, nasty bandits, even a frontier hoedown before the final float down the Columbia River to their new home in Willamette, ``a fertile land of dreams . . . such handsome fields and streams.'' This is a prettied history: Against odds, a self-reliant, uncomplaining troupe reaches an earthly paradise through a combination of pluck, good deeds, providential turns, and derring- do. Manifest Destiny in its Sunday best. Gerrard's crack landscapes are delicate and expressive (the Columbia River canyons are dizzying in scale), while the action scenes really gallop across the page. Fun and familiar. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 14th, 1996
ISBN: 0-374-38249-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1996


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