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My America: As Far As I Can See: Meg's Prairie Diary, Book One Hardcover – August 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Series: My America (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; 1St Edition edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439425174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439425179
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Revealing life in Missouri in 1856, Meg writes about happy excursions to an ice-cream parlor as well as a horrific scene of a slave auction. When cholera spreads through St. Louis and infects her mother and baby sister, the protagonist and her younger brother, Preston, are sent to live with relatives in the Kansas Territory. Traveling by steamship via the Mississippi and then the Missouri rivers, they finally reach their destination. A city girl, Meg learns to love the wide-open prairie and matures under the brilliant Kansas sky. She helps hide a runaway slave and nurses Preston back to health when he comes down with a dreadful fever. At the end of the brief novel, Meg's mother and sister, fully recovered, journey to Kansas; her father will soon join them and settle there. This easy-to-read book introduces issues such as slavery, gambling, and women's rights; social movements, such as the community of Neosho, KS, which was founded by vegetarians; as well as historical events, such as the violent disputes among Border Ruffians, Southern sympathizers, and those settlers who wanted Kansas to be a free state. Notes and information about the author are included. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. When her mother and sister come down with cholera in 1856, Meg and her brother are sent away from their St. Louis home for the sake of their health. A family friend escorts the children by riverboat and wagon to their aunt and uncle's Kansas homestead. Meg quickly adjusts to life on the prairie, where her relatives use buffalo chips for fuel, wear cotton instead of silk, and offer their cabin as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Previously shocked by the sight of a slave auction in St. Louis, Meg has the satisfaction of helping a young slave escape. An appended section, "Life in America in 1865," offers background information illustrated with period prints. The large type and the diary format make the book accessible to young readers, but when a short chapter book includes as many people, settings, and events as this one, it leaves little room for the development of the characters or the treatment of complex issues. Still, libraries looking for short historical fiction may want to add this book from the My America series to their collections. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When she is given a diary for her ninth birthday, Margaret Cora Wells, called Meg by her family and friends, expects to record her daily life in St. Louis, Missouri. But then a cholera epidemic strikes, and Meg's mother and little sister, Grace, fall ill. Having already lost two children to cholera seven years before, Meg's mother is determined not to lose another. So Meg and her seven-year-old brother, Preston, are sent to live with their aunt, uncle, and cousins in the Kansas Territory. Accustomed to a comfortable city life, Meg finds frontier living to be tough, but at the same time full of adventure. But in 1856, Kansas is a very dangerous place, where pro-slavery Border Ruffians attack northerners like Meg's family, who have come to Kansas in the hopes of making it a free state. Can Meg come up with a plan to help her family? I highly recommend this new title from the My America series. It has a nice story and good historical details.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book at the end i started crying but it is happy. I really think you should read this book. But when you start this book you wont want to put it down!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As far as I can see this is an amazing book. Its happy, sad and very exciting.This book is also very heart warming and action packed. It is about a little girl named Meg and her brother Preston and they both go to Kanasas to stay with their relatives.That is when a run away slave named Del comes and they have to hide her. I'm not going to tell you what happens, but to find out just read this book. ~Daisy Duck
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By sally gann on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book!! I am reading this to my sister, and it has a nice tory line. Nice to ee how the people live in the 1850's. Thank you
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By someonesgottagive on September 7, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was in good condition. Happy with the purchase.
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More About the Author

Kate McMullan is the author of many books for young readers, including I Stink!, winner of a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor; I'm Mighty; and Meg's Prairie Diary, a historical fiction trilogy set in St. Louis and Kansas in 1856. She has been fascinated by the Lewis and Clark Expedition since the age of ten, when an uncle told her about an ancestor who had gone on the expedition. That ancestor was sixteen-year-old George Shannon. Ms. McMullan lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York, with her husband and collaborator, noted illustrator Jim McMullan, their daughter, two cats, and a dog.

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