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Sarah felt safe and snug holding hands under the quilt with Almira Ann. Then a crack of thunder split the air, sounding like it would crash the top of the wagon down on them all.
The day has finally come. Sarah and her family have packed their covered wagon and set out from Missouri, heading west to Oregon for a new life on fertile soil. Fortunately for Sarah, her best friend, Almira Ann and her family are also making the wagon train journey along the Oregon Trail. If only Sarah can manage to "mind her hasty spirit," as Grandma always says, things will be easier for everyone.
Difficult weather conditions and unexpected troubles on the trail lead to long delays in the journey. Try as she might, Sarah can't always keep to the rules. But when Sarah accidentally causes Almira Ann to fall from the wagon and break her leg, she knows her hasty spirit has gone too far. Now Almira Ann must ride the rest of the way with her leg in a pine box splint. How will Sarah ever make it up to her?
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Jane Kurtz has written many acclaimed books for young readers, including The Storyteller's Beads. While living on the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado, Ms. Kurtz became fascinated with trails. She published an activity book on The Oregon Trail, which served as her inspiration for I'm Sorry, Almira Ann. Ms. Kurtz now lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota with her family.
Susan Havice's illustrations have appeared in magazines and on greeting cards. This is the first book she has illustrated for children. Ms. Havice lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
Grade 2-4-In this novel, Kurtz successfully captures the adventure and hardships of life on the Oregon Trail. Eight-year-old Sarah Benton's family is heading West. Unfortunately, the girl's "hasty spirit" seems to get her in trouble at every turn of the trail, especially with her best friend, Almira Ann. On a whim, Sarah climbs high up Chimney Rock to carve their names on the famous trail landmark, frightening her friend with her daring. She trades a rag doll from Almira Ann for coveted beads from a young Sioux girl. Finally, in an exuberant wrestling match, Sarah scares Almira Ann, causing her to fall out of the back of the wagon and break her leg. How can a friendship survive such setbacks? The dirty, often treacherous experiences of traveling in a wagon train make an excellent backdrop for the turbulent friendship. Historical tidbits of pioneer life are peppered throughout the text, adding detail without bogging down the plot. Sarah is an engaging character, and readers will readily identify with her tribulations. Havice's light pencil sketches, one per chapter, lend a familiar, friendly feeling. This is a perfect title for exploring pioneer life before jumping into Laura Ingalls Wilder's longer "Little House" books (HarperCollins).
Linda Bindner, formerly at Athens Clarke County Library, GA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Hardcover. Condition: New. 0805060944 Ships from Tennessee, usually the same or next day. Seller Inventory # Z0805060944ZN
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