Moss, Marissa. Rachel’s Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl. Harcourt Brace, 1998. ISBN 0-1520-1806-9. $15.00. Unpaginated.” 3-6 FI Reviewed by Donna J. Jorgensen Ten-year-old Rachel is traveling with her family by covered wagon along the Oregon Trail. Grandfather has given her a book of her own to write in and the assignment to chronicle their journey and write letters back to the States. When they leave Illinois in 1850, California is not a state, but by the time they get there it has entered the Union. Throughout this attractively illustrated book, Rachel tells of the sights, the chores, the hardships, and the joys of the Oregon Trail. She illustrates and annotates in the margins of her journal everything from flowers along the trail, to the rocks sewn into the hems of some of the women’s skirts (and the accompanying bruises on their legs), to maps and “portraits” of her companions. The information provided by Rachel’s journal was carefully researched by the author, and events are taken from many journals of the trek west. The type face is in the style of hand printing and is very readable. I found it a beautiful, interesting, and informative piece of historical fiction.
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