Cover image for Rescue on the Oregon Trail
Rescue on the Oregon Trail
Messner, Kate, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
125 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Ranger, a golden retriever, could have been a great search-and-rescue-dog except for the squirrels--but one day he unearths a mysterious box and finds himself transported back to the year 1850 where his faithful service is really needed by a family traveling west along the Oregon Trail.
Reading Level:
690 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.5 2.0 172513.
Added Author:

Format :


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Audubon Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Meet Ranger! He's a time-traveling golden retriever who has a nose for trouble . . . and always saves the day!

Ranger has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but can't officially pass the test because he's always getting distracted by squirrels during exercises. One day, he finds a mysterious first aid kit in the garden and is transported to the year 1850, where he meets a young boy named Sam Abbott. Sam's family is migrating west on the Oregon Trail, and soon after Ranger arrives he helps the boy save his little sister. Ranger thinks his job is done, but the Oregon Trail can be dangerous, and the Abbotts need Ranger's help more than they realize!

Author Notes

Kate Messner is the author of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z., winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers; CAPTURE THE FLAG, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner; HIDE AND SEEK; MANHUNT; and the Marty McGuire chapter book series. A former middle-school English teacher, Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and loves reading, walking in the woods, and traveling. Visit her online at

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A time-traveling golden retriever named Ranger stars in this magic-tinged first book in the Ranger in Time series. Trained as a search-and-rescue dog, Ranger is magically transported away from his young owner, Luke, to the year 1850 after finding a first-aid kit buried in the garden. It turns out that Ranger is just what a boy named Sam Abbott, his family, and the other families they are traveling with need to survive the treacherous 2,000-mile journey from Independence, Mo., to the Oregon Territory. Ranger finds Sam's lost three-year-old sister, Amelia, and alerts Sam to dangers ranging from rattlesnakes to stampedes. Perhaps most importantly, Ranger provides comfort to Sam, who couldn't bring his own dog on the journey McMorris's richly rendered illustrations heighten the plot's many moments of danger and drama, and Messner (Manhunt) incorporates a wealth of historical details into her rousing adventure story. An author's note offers additional context and detail about the challenges pioneers faced and the real-life research that went into this story. Ages 7-10. Author's agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Ranger is a golden retriever who trained as a search-and-rescue dog. Unfortunately, he never passes the final test due to those pesky squirrels he can't help chasing. One afternoon, while playing outside with his owner, Luke, he comes across a buried first-aid kit that transports him back to the year 1850. Finding himself in Independence, Missouri, Ranger meets the Abbott family, who is making the treacherous journey on the Oregon Trail. Confused by the strange sights and smells, the dog decides that this must be some sort of new tracking test. Convinced that if he passes he will be reunited with his beloved Luke, Ranger takes on the challenge with gusto. He quickly becomes an invaluable family member by babysitting the Abbotts's ever-wandering toddler, making fast friends with young Sam, and warning them of dangers along the trail. This excellent story contains historical details, full-age illustrations, and enough action to keep even reluctant readers engaged. A wonderful author's note at the end is full of quotes from authentic journals, factual information on search-and-rescue dogs, and suggestions for further reading. This is a stellar choice for readers just starting full-length chapter books and would be a hit with young history buffs and dog lovers as well.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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