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Roughing It on the Oregon Trail (Time-Traveling Twins) Hardcover – April 26, 2000

6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, April 26, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stanley (Peter the Great) launches a new historical picture book series about the Time Traveling TwinsAred-haired brother and sister Lenny and Liz. Left with Grandma while their parents vacation in Paris, the twins soon strike out on an adventure of their own when Grandma whips out her magic hat and whisks them back to 1843. There they meet up with ancestors traveling the Oregon Trail. Stanley serves up a lively blend of fact and fiction as she recounts their journey, shoehorning in information on everything from the rigors of the terrain and weather to trail food ("slam-johns and sowbelly," or pancakes and bacon) and prairie fuel (buffalo chips), as well as citing relevant milestones such as the Panic of 1837 and the Louisiana Purchase. Berry (Market Day) adheres to authentic details in her sprightly cartoon-like illustrations, and she accommodates a balanced mix of straightforward text and speech bubbles that allow Grandma to provide some context (e.g., how Native Americans were affected by the Westward movement). The twins' modern perspective offers generous dollops of humor (a pioneer girl boasts that her doll, Jenny, "even has a second dress!" to which Liz replies, "I have a doll named Barbie, and she has lots of clothes!"). Berry makes use of every inch of space, alternating broad vistas with smaller panels (one series shows how the cooking was done), and the endpapers contrast the Oregon Trail in 1843 to its present-day appearance. Given this altogether appealing, highly useful introduction to an important slice of American history, readers will likely be eager to follow the twins on their next excursion. Ages 5-10. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Not as comic or as busy as Joanna Cole's "Magic School Bus" tutorials (Scholastic), this initial series entry is gently informative. Twins Liz and Lenny's vacation to their grandmother's house becomes an adventure when Grandma dons her magic hat and they (along with her amusing pup, Moose) travel back to 1843 when their ancestors left Missouri and headed to Oregon on a wagon train. The siblings' narrative describing their journey is enlivened by numerous dialogue balloons and tells of their virtual months of eating bacon and beans, encountering buffalo and friendly Indians, and making sacrifices like leaving heavy heirlooms along the trail. Historical tidbits like the Panic of 1837 are mentioned and keep the story focused and useful as a curriculum supplement. Two-page spreads feature single, double, triptych, or even larger split-page groups of folksy, colored-pencil illustrations depicting prairie landscapes and stiff, simply drawn, cartoonlike pioneers and Indians. Overall, an engaging trip and a painless history lesson.
John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 460L (What's this?)
  • Series: Time-Traveling Twins
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060270659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060270650
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,527,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My 6 yr old son and 8 year old daughter paid close attention and enjoyed this book. My daughter enjoyed reading the bubble conversation; I read the text part. Nice illustrations - neither they nor the story was too dark as is sometimes a problem with historical fiction for this age. Sort of a Magic School Bus feel to it, with travel back in time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
We read Roughing It on the Oregon Trail by Diane Stanley. 2 twins stay with their grandmother and get to go back in time to meet some relatives and travel on the Oregon Trail. A little along the lines as the Magic Tree House books but this one is a picture book. It really was very interesting and I even learned some things I did not know. Recommended for ages 5-10 years.
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By M. Urrutia on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
My kids and I have really enjoyed this series and I'm surprised how little known it is, considering Diane Stanley's reputation. I wish she could write more of these - although I appreciate all her other great books. Too bad there can't be two of her so she could write even more!
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