Gregory, Kristiana. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell. Scholastic, 1997. ISBN 0-590-22651-7. $9.95. 164 pp. *3-8 FI Reviewed by Sandra L. Tidwell Encouraged by her Aunt Jane, thirteen-year-old Hattie Campbell keeps a diary of her family's six-month journey to the Oregon Territory. Booneville, Missouri, is the starting place for the 135 wagons. Their journey, begun in the spring of 1847, intersects the first Mormon wagon train en route to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Gregory's historical fiction is exceptionally well written, and the diary format clearly conveys the reality of pioneer life on the trail. I wept at the accidental death of children from water hemlock poisoning, wondered at the birth of a baby during a river crossing, imagined what skeeter cakes would look and taste like, and admired the faith of families who obeyed their wagon master's constant urging to lighten their scanty loads for the difficult terrain ahead. The following wisdom, tucked into Hattie's account is one of the central themes:”Our home is our family, not our pos-sessions”(p.109). This is a wonderful selection to incorporate into history/social studies units and read-aloud programs at home or school. This Dear America series book includes an epilogue that tells the reader what happened to Hattie and her family after they settled in the Oregon Territory. Also at the end of the book is an interesting collection of maps, drawings, and photographs of “Life in America in 1847.” You will also find the words and music to “Skip to My Lou,” a pioneer recipe for “Johnny Cake or Hoe Cake,” and an “About the Author” section.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.