Cover image for Westward to home : Joshua's diary
Title:
Westward to home : Joshua's diary
Author:
Hermes, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, 2001.
Physical Description:
108 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
Summary:
In 1848, nine-year-old Joshua Martin McCullough writes a journal of his family's journey from Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon. Includes a historical note about westward migration.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
320 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.1 1.0 50170.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.1 5 Quiz: 25370 Guided reading level: O.
ISBN:
9780439112093
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In book one of this diary of life on the Oregon Trail, Pat Hermes tells the story of Joshua McCullough's family's experiences as they pack up their belongings and head west in a wagon train.

It is 1848 when Joshua McCullough and his family leave their home in St. Joseph, Missouri, and set off for Oregon on a wagon train. During their seven-month-long journey, many of the other families on the trail suffer devastating losses, but Joshua's is spared. However, Joshua must conquer his fear of water during the many river crossings the wagon train must make. During one dramatic crossing, Joshua heroically dives into a rushing river to save his younger sister Becky. The battered wagon train reaches Oregon after traveling over two thousand miles.


Author Notes

Author Patricia Hermes was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936. She graduated from St. John's University with degrees in speech and English. She taught English and social studies in middle school before taking time off to raise her five children. When she returned to teaching, she was less satisfied with the job and decided to take a class in writing nonfiction for adults. She wrote essays and nonfiction for adults before she starting writing books for children and young adults.

In 1980, her first book, What If They Knew?, was published. Since then she has written over fifty books and received numerous awards including the Smithsonian Notable Book Award, the C. S. Lewis Honor Award, the American Library Association Best Book Award, and the award for the New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Years. She also writes The Cousins Club series and novelizations for screenplays including My Girl and My Girl 2. She has also researched and written six historical novels in the Scholastic Dear America/My America series.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. Through the 1848 journal of nine-year-old Joshua McCullough, readers come face-to-face with the rigors of the wagon-train trek from St. Joseph, Missouri, to the Oregon Territory. Joshua shares the daily routines of wagon train travel, making real the everyday annoyances as well as the life-threatening dangers that are part of the trip. Washing away trail dust that cakes animals' eyes shut, pitching in to replace another family's possessions that spilled into a river, burying those who die along the way from illness or wagon accidents are among the events recounted in Joshua's simply penned, yet compelling entries. This perceptive boy senses a mother's pain over the loss of her children on the trail and, despite others' mistrust and fear, observes, "Indians are a lot like the rest of us." This entry in the My America series will stick in readers' minds and enrich their studies of the era. --Ellen Mandel


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