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I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail
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I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  461 ratings  ·  61 reviews
What did pioneer children do for fun? What did they fear as they crossed the plains? Susan Arrington Madsen, author of The Lord Needed a Prophet, has collected actual accounts of thirty young people (under the age of twenty) who were members of Mormon wagon trains and handcart companies. B.H. Roberts describes how he and his sister traveled from England as virtual orphans ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published November 1st 1994 by Deseret Book Co
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Community Reviews

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Angie
Wow, what an amazing book! I have been reading and researching pioneer stories in my effort to become prepared for TREK this summer. This was an amazing book. It is pioneers stories of children and teenagers. I cried several times during the book and felt a real connection to their stories.
Mommywest
Wonderful book that gives you several perspectives about what it was like to be a Mormon pioneer child or teen in wagon and handcart companies. This is a great book to help you prepare for trek, a trip to Church History sites, or to just help yourself or your family gain a great understanding and appreciation for what he pioneers really did when they agreed to leave all they knew, and in many cases, much of what they had, behind in order to accomplish something they believed with all their heart ...more
Katrina
I just finished reading this to my 9-year-old, who is as fascinated with pioneers as I have always been. Some parts were over her head, but reading it was an enjoyable experience for both of us. I certainly learned a lot and made a lot of fun connections.
Christie Lammers
I read some of the short selections from this book to my 5th graders during our Westward Expansion unit. They are fascinated with the stories!
amypete
Read this one to glean stories to tell along the trail. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of life as a pioneer.
Susan
Jul 12, 2012 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I chose this book because we were traveling to Iowa City - a major starting point for handcart/wagon companies on the Mormon Trail. The stories are in first person (excerpts from journals/memories/autobiographies) and are focused only on children that traveled the Mormon Trail. Each story had a picture and biographical information which I liked. It's hard to understand what it would have been like to be a little kid walking 3 months with little food and provisions to the Utah valley. But this bo ...more
Julie
What an inspiring book. These pioneer accounts touched my heart.
Sandra Strange
This book is a collection of pieces from journals and personal histories, personal stories of kids (from very young to adult) who emigrated to Zion: everything from their experiences aboard the ship to their first experiences in the new settlements. It ranges from harrowing accounts of the Willie handcart company experiences to much lighter stories of romances struck up walking alongside oxen drawn covered wagons. Each account also briefly tells what happened to the person after reaching Zion. T ...more
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 Carmen Maloy added it
Recommends it for: Any fan of LDS history
History buffs will love it, even those who arent into history will get a kick out of it. All these stories are actual events that happened to youth and children while traveling from Illinois to Utah. These youngters had an amazing amount of faith to go through what they did.

If you're ever down in the dumps and feel that your lot is tough, pick this book up and you will feel humbled and blessed beyond belief. A great read and also includes some incredible pictures.
VeeAnn
Great stories! Some are much better than others. I especially liked the account of Margaret Gay Judd (Clawson). She was hilarious. It was also fun to read about Shelli's ancestor, Edwin Pettit, who dressed in disguise. I believe the only one included that I am distantly related to was that of Lucina Mecham (Boren). Quick read. It answered some of the questions I have had about the pioneers. My only complaint - more stories needed!
Etta Mcquade
An excellent book, especially for the family to share with the children.
I particularly was impressed with the account of Mary Goble (Pay), the grandmother of Marjorie Pay Hinckley, who lost four of her family members, including her mother, on the trek to Utah Territory. Her feet were frozen, but she did not have to have them amputated because of a promise Brigham Young had given her.
Mtalley2
I loved this book. One of the Great Granddaughters spoke in Sacrament Meeting while I was in Utah. I had to rush out and buy the book. It is amazing to see how children now can't cope with bad hair days or without cell phones. Yet these children seemed to know what was important because they weren't distracted by the frivolous unnecessary things in life.
Heather
Some of these stories/journal accounts were exciting or faith building or fun or tense. Others were dull. We gained a good appreciation for what the Mormon pioneers went through, however, and that was my goal. There are not many books written to children on this topic so this has a place, but I'd like to see something a bit more engaging. Overall, a good read.
Jessica
This is like reading a page out of about 50 journals. I liked that it not only talks about their experience along the Mormon trail, but also what happened to each person after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Many pages include quotes from their children and grandchildren many years later. Any time I read about these pioneers I am always inspired.
Gena Lott
This was an interesting book dealing with the pioneer children who walked across the plains. The stories were sad, funny and often unexpected. Many of the individuals discussed were ancestors of church leaders.
The stories are all in first person and are very immediate.
Well written, though often taken up in the middle of the narrative.
Veronica
An amazing history of the sacrifice that the pioneer children made. I was able to participate in a "reenactment" of sorts and it was an incredible experience. I learned more about my heritage, and even found some ancestors that actually went through the trials of walking to Zion.
Troy Johnson
This book focused on children's journey to Zion. A very short book, but filled with stories about younger children and teenagers and their different perspectives on their journey and experiences. Very little narration, very little insight, just the stories themselves.
Ann Christensen
Great stories about children and teens who walked with pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. I absolutely loved hearing their tales and experiences and realized that they aren't so different from my own children. I cried, laughed and felt really close knowing their stories.
Michelle
I got this book as a gift when I was 11 or so and I loved the autobiographical snippets so much that I later asked for the second book. It made the pioneer experience real for me. I'm glad that Madsen took the time to produce such a high-quality collection.
Erin
I read this for a talk I gave at church last week. I liked how so many perspectives and experiences were shared. I came away realizing that pioneer children weren't any different than children today. Some were goodnatured. Some whined. Some were angry.
Deborah
Loved these true stories of the pioneers who came across the plains to Utah. There are many very inspirational stories throughout the book. Sometimes I forget that children and teenagers came, too, and these are their stories...most taken from their journals.
Shara
A wonderful collection of stories, some well known by the LDS people and others not so well known, of children who made the trek to Salt Lake City. Some of the stories are cheery and uneventful, while others are fraught with anxiety and difficulty.
Holly
This is a great collection of really short stories told by different young pioneers. I think the reason I really liked it is that it wasn't just depressing. There were some really funny stories and interesting details.
Jennifer
My heart was touched by so many of the entries in this book. The hardships and the struggles they endured are beyond anything anyone should have to live through, least of all young children.

I loved this book.
Sherilyn
I read this book about 4 years ago and was so amazed by the many heart felt stories and all the faith that many of our early pioneers had. I wish I owned a copy of this book as I know I would read it severl times over.
Stacey


An amazing collection of journal entries written from children who immigrated to Zion. I loved their perspective, their adventurous spirit, and their faith. I'm grateful to be their ancestor!
Kelly
I enjoyed reading the stories of the children who crossed the plains and seeing things from their view. I read this in preparation for our youth trek this summer and it was a fun, quick read.
Ramona
Fascinating collection of short accounts of children and teens who came to Utah as part of the westward movement. Amazingly many of them thought of the trek as an advanture rather than a trial.

Greta
I looked forward to this read quite a bit and found myself disappointed. Almost all of the "children" were ages 14-18. Maybe a better "coffee table" book than one to sit and read cover to cover.
Lindsay
I picked up this book at the library to prepare for a Primary activity. I forgot I had read it. I love books like this. I am amazed at the strength and courage of the pioneers.
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