cover image Cassie's Journey: Going West in the 1860s

Cassie's Journey: Going West in the 1860s

Brett Harvey. Holiday House, $15.95 (39pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0684-5

Similar in style, tone and source to My Prairie Year, this draws on 19th century diaries in its simple exploration of the hardships and adventures of one American family's westward journey. Told from Cassie's point of view, this is a lively and interesting account of the trip: the wagon, the food, the dangers of fast-moving rivers, steep mountains, a buffalo stampede, death for some from fever or snakebite. Unfortunately, Harvey ends Cassie's tale before the family reaches California. Ray's charcoal drawings are soft and evocative, and in total with the text, make this a bittersweet glimpse of history and a good prequel to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. Ages 6-10. (April)