Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: William H. Hooks
Illustrator: Charles Robinson
Publisher: Random House
This is a simple story about a girl and her trek to Oregon during the Westward Migration. Kate is traveling with her family of five and is devastated that she has to leave her best friend, Doris, behind. During her journey, she befriends Rosie, another young pioneer on the journey to find a new home with her father. A cat appears along their route, becoming Kate’s new companion. The family faces Native Americans, crosses a turbulent river, and witnesses the birth of a litter of kittens along their way.
Learning about American history is always interesting for young readers. Westward Expansion is one of those topics which involves many hardships for families and is intriguing to read. There are a variety of chapter books for this reading level regarding the pioneers and migrating west, yet this book is tame. Kate’s family has a relatively easy journey west when comparing other similar novels on this topic. The author could have included many more challenges along the way which would keep readers more entertained.
*Contains mild violence.