Reviews for How to Get Rich on the Oregon Trail : My Adventures Among Cows, Crooks & Heros on the Road to Fame and Fortune


Booklist Reviews 2009 March #1
The exemplary How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush (2008) finds a worthy successor in this offering in the How to Get Rich series. This time the action follows young Will Reed and his family as they set off from Illinois to find their fortune along the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. As with the previous volume, the action is humorously purported to be true, although the editors suggest viewing the story with "skeptical inquiry." But informing Will s impish sketches and wry journal entries is a wealth of information about life along the trail, including the construction of their "chariot," the perilous river crossings, and threats from both cholera and the Indian attacks. An ongoing ledger calculates the family s balance as it fluctuates from $10.70 to $3,021.70, but it s clear that this journey is more about survival than riches. The illustrations, historical anecdotes, and run-ins with everyone from the Mormons to escaped slaves to Abraham Lincoln form a perfect blend of history and humbuggery. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
This companion to How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush provides an engaging and clever recounting of a trip westward during the 1850s by the fictitious William Reed. Told through illustrations, photographs, journal entries, ledgers, and other "artifacts," the you-are-there approach will help young people understand the hardships and experiences of early American pioneers. Reading list, websites. Glos. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

Gr 4-7--Following in the footsteps of How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush (National Geographic, 2008), Oregon Trail is the fictionalized account of an overland journey in 1852, recorded by budding writer 15-year-old William Reed, whose well-to-do family "follows the siren call of opportunity" by going west. Both an editor's note at the outset and an afterword stress the fact that there is not a "single scrap" of evidence that Reed or his family ever lived but that much of what he describes in his journal "precisely matches historical records." The entries, which follow the teen from Springfield, IL, to Portland, OR, describe his family tribulations, rampant disease along the trail, perilous river crossings, interactions with Native tribes, and the exploits of a corrupt wagon master. As the title suggests, finances are kept close track of with an antique-looking ledger sheet recording the family's income and expenses on each page as they earn and lose money by restocking lost or used supplies and plying their various trades (father is a doctor and brother Nathan is a blacksmith and entrepreneur). A list of further reading and online resources is accompanied by a two-page "Encyclopedia of the Oregon Trail" that defines terminology used within the text. Richly illustrated with a mix of historically authentic lithographs and "William Reed's" drawings, this book is a colorful and lively introduction to the time period.--Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

[Page 126]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

----------------------
VOYA Reviews 2009 June
When William Reed was fifteen, his family decided to leave their comfortable life in Springfield, Illinois, and head West. It was 1852 and nearly 60,000 other people set out on the Oregon Trail as well. This book is William's account of his family's journey on the trail. There were plenty of hardships--from cholera, scurvy, and mountain fever to raging rivers, unscrupulous suppliers, and downright scoundrels even among their companions. William tells of a band of Indian warriors who stole his family's oxen and horses. He and his brother later discovered that the "warriors" were the associates of a fellow traveler who planned to sell the livestock for an inflated price to desperate emigrants As in How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush (National Geographic, 2008), fact mixes with fiction to relate historical events. Although the details of William's experiences resemble real happenings, no evidence endures of the existence of William or his family. Olson and his colleagues produce a highly readable account of life on the Oregon Trail. As informative as any textbook, this book is far more entertaining and is sure to hold the interest of young teen readers or anyone with an interest in the Westward movement.--Debbie Clifford PLB $27.90. ISBN 978-1-4263-0413-2. Glossary. Illus. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Further Reading. 4Q 3P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.

----------------------