Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-31 Moss extends the format she perfected in Amelia's Notebook and Amelia Writes Again to cover historical fiction in this solidly researched and wholly captivating illustrated diary "by" a 10-year-old girl who travels with her family along the Oregon Trail in 1850. The excitements and hardships of the seven-month journey spring vividly to life, whether Rachel is crossing the eerie, skeleton-strewn Nevada desert by moonlight, trading her long red braids for an Indian pony, eating flour soup when provisions get low, or awakening one morning to greet a new baby sister. Character sketches?of the shiftless Mr. Bridger; the oh-so-perfect Prudence Elias, bane of tomboy Rachel's days; sourpuss Mr. Henry Sunshine, whose wife, Louisa, providentially drops her dentures during a tense encounter with the Pawnee, frightening them away?are a sheer delight, adding depth, texture and, of course, humor. The language is equally colorful. One of the smaller children in Rachel's wagon party, for example, is "no bigger than a bar of soap after a week's wash." Moss shoehorns in an amazing amount of information, giving readers an excellent understanding of life on the trail. Lined sepia-toned pages give the book the look of an antique diary; and, in the style of the Amelia books, hand-lettered text and cleverly captioned thumbnail illustrations with a childlike sensibility add to the authentic feel. This engrossing glimpse of the westward movement is as good a choice for pleasure reading as it is a valuable classroom resource. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly, 2001-05-28 In a starred review, PW called Rachel's Journal, one of two entries in the Young American Voices series now in paperback, set on the Oregon Trail in 1850 "a solidly researched and wholly captivating illustrated diary." Ages 8-12. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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