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Sarah Journeys West: An Oregon Trail Survival Story By NIKKI SHANNON SMITH

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Sarah is a 12-year-old girl living in Iowa in 1851 while the California Gold Rush is in full swing. News that one of the neighbors is heading west with his son, leaving behind his wife and daughter, surprises her family. Even more surprising is that her father and brother plan to join them! Sarah is crushed that her family is going to be torn apart. Her mother is adamant it will not be.

It's quite a surprise to Sarah when she wakes up the next morning and finds out her mother has won. Her parents are packing up a wagon, and they all will head west, leaving her grandparents behind.

They meet up with their neighbor, Mr. Tucker, and four other families planning to brave the Oregon Trail to reach California. The hardships and adventures that await them make for an exciting read. Will they survive and make it to California? Or will disaster strike?

Included at the end of the book is a glossary that defines some of the words that a young reader may not be familiar with, notes from the author about the historical accuracies of the book, and a few questions for discussion.

"Sarah Journeys West" is one of 12 books in the "Girls Survive" series, an historical fiction series for middle grade students (grades 3-5) that puts a young heroine in the middle of some of the most tragic and treacherous times in history. From Pearl Harbor to the Civil War, from the Titanic to the Great Chicago Fire, readers will enjoy seeing a different side to historical events they are familiar with. If your children like the "I Survived" series, this is another great series to check out.


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