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If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon Paperback – August 1, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

How did people escape on the Underground Railroad? What was it like to land on Ellis Island?How did it feel to travel the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? Ellen Levine has revealed worldsof fascinating adventure with her nonfiction books for young readers.

Although Ellen Levine enjoys reading and writing fiction, most of her books for young readershave been nonfiction. “Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoylearning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago.”

“Real heroes,” Levine says, “aren't necessarily on TV or in the news. They can be ordinarypeople who are willing to take risks for causes they believe in. Nonfiction offers a way tointroduce young readers to real people who have shown tremendous courage, even when facedwith great danger. All of us have the potential. And one doesn't have to be a grown-up,” sheadds.

When she's not writing, Levine likes to share the excitement of research and the importance ofaccuracy with young readers. “Many young people think research is dull; you go to anencyclopedia, copy information, give it a title, and call it a report.” Using her books asexamples, Ellen explains how to get other, more interesting information. “I may not mention theexact words, but I talk to young people about primary and secondary sources. If I'm speakingwith third graders, I ask them, 'Where would I go if I wanted to find out what it's like to be athird grader?' Most will say, 'Read a book.' But when they say, 'Ask a third grader,' I knowthey've understood what I mean by a primary source of inspiration.”

For If You Were an Animal Doctor, for example, Ellen witnessed an emergency operation on acow. While doing research in Wyoming for Ready, Aim, Fire!, her biography of Annie Oakley,she got to hold the gun Ms. Oakley is believed to have shot in the presence of the Queen ofEngland. “It gave me such a strong feeling about this person,” she says. “That's part of research,too.”

Ellen Levine is the author of many acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Among them:If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, I Hate English!, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King, and Secret Missions. Her recent book, Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, was named one of the Ten Best Children's Books of the Year by The New York Times, and Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

Ellen divides her time between New York City and Salem, New York.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Series: If You…
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590451588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590451581
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 8.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was wonderful to use in the classroom with my Fourth Graders! It is written so that they can easily read and understand it and provided realistic illustrations to support the text. While it is not a book that can be easily read in one sitting it goes along well with our study of the Westward Movement and was enjoyed by all the students. It was conducive to group discussion and covered all the aspects of the topic that the students wished to know from the question "What was a covered wagon?" to "Could they recieve mail along the way?". It lent itself to projects and assignments for the students.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
We are homeschoolers, and are studying U.S. History. We used this book to compliment our studies of the Reconstruction and Reform Period. My children enjoyed the layout, as well as the information. They liked it so well, they usually read ahead of the scheduled assignments!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mischelle C. Keyser on March 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great for my 4th grade class. It is written on their level and does describe how problems were solved on the Oregon Trail. It is an informative and easy read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevis Hendrickson on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
...If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon is an excellent book for kids, especially younger children who have not yet heard of the adventures of the American pioneers who braved the frontier of the American West to expand the territory of the United States. This book does a wonderful job of transporting its readers to the past and has lots of remarkable, but easy to remember facts.

One of the most impressive things about this book is how easily the author uses simple language to relay facts to the reader without making the information seem dry. Although both an adult and a history buff, I learned quite a few things while reading this book. In fact, I was happily surprised by how interesting this book turned out to be. The complimentary illustrations are terrific and inviting. In fact, ...If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon is a solid, well put together book that leaves the reader thirsting for more information on this wonderful subject. That alone makes the book worth reading.

I would recommend that parents or teachers get their younger children a copy of this book so that they can read it to them. It will not only inform and entertain, but will leave kids begging to read more fascinating books such as this one.
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We have enjoyed the book very much. It has given my grandchildren a new appreciation of how many hardships people faced in a covered wagon. Very educational, well written, and well worth the price. Highly recommend the book for grade school level and the vendor was great. The book arrived packed well and on time. Would buy from this vendor again!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great resource book for the old west unit. Easy to use for fourth graders. I am certainly happy to find it.
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By Shirley Summers on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clear and concise and gave information I needed for a talk about some of my relatives traveling in covered wagon from South Carolina to Arizona.
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By Netty on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter home schools and she likes these books very much. She recommended this book for a birthday present for her 1st grader.
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