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Journal of Jedediah Barstow: An Emigrant On The Oregon Trail (My Name Is America)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  105 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Orphaned after losing his parents in a rafting accident, Jedediah Barstow must find the courage to follow his family's dream westward along the Oregon Trail.

Having lost his parents and younger sister when they tried to ford a river along the Oregon Trail, Jedediah Barstow decides to make his way to the Oregon Territory on his own. He is "adopted" by the Henshaw family, who
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Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Scholastic Inc.
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My Name is America Series
19th out of 19 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 348)
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Glen Stott
Jun 11, 2015 Glen Stott rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, history
This is the fictional 1845 journal of Jedidiah Barstow. It is one of the Dear America series written for teenager readers. The journal begins about a week after Jed’s family; father, mother, and little sister, were drowned in the Kaw River early on their trip west. After bouncing around, he finally joins with Mr. Henshaw and his wife. Jed experiences many of the hardships people experience on the Oregon Trail. He and his friends take many short side trips get up close experiences with many of th ...more
Kelsey Hanson
As far as Oregon Trail stories go, this one was pretty dull. The journey followed the usual route and made sure to note the usual landmarks, but this one seemed more like the summary of a story. The characters are forgettable and there really isn't enough historical detail to keep me interested for long. It's a short book, but it was a chore to get through. Normally I enjoy books in this series more than this, but this was a rare disappointment.
Tristan Smith
May 06, 2016 Tristan Smith rated it it was amazing
This book i read for my April review. I can say, this book expertly described the harsh reality and hard times that many pioneers experienced on the Oregon trail. Indians, diseases, stampedes, etc. The book follows an emigrant boy named Jed (Or Jedediah). His parents were lost while trying to ford a river. Eventually he takes up with another wagon, and continues on the trail. I would give this book a 4.5/5.
Wendy Mahaney
The story was good, but I was disappointed with the use of swear words in a book geared for middle elementary students. My son's comment was, "how did scholastic books let this though editing?" I agree, good question.
Marypat
Jan 18, 2015 Marypat rated it liked it
Using for 4th grade book clubs- no major rising action as it is a journal. kids are fascinated by the history. Some major themes include overcoming fears, growing up, carrying out a legacy, family.
Molly
Nov 11, 2012 Molly added it
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Gina
Jan 09, 2015 Gina rated it it was ok
Shelves: dear-america
This was a drudgery to read through. I usually zoom through the Dear America books. This one took me twice as long. I recommend reading Kristiana Gregory's "Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie" instead. It's also a diary format story about the Oregon trail. The protagonist is a girl, however. But I found that story much more enjoyable. In fact, Gregory's Dear America books rank among my favorites in the series.
Megan Anderson
A decent book about the Oregon Trail (one of my favorite things to read about). It goes more into the gritty details of how hard the journey was than other books I've read, but aside from that, there wasn't much substance to the book. Oh, well. It would be good for reluctant readers.

3/5 on here, 7/10 for myself
Jill
Dec 12, 2012 Jill rated it liked it
jedediah is pretty good there is a big adventure that happens.It was ok it is pretty adventures.he goes on a giant journey to oregon and it changes his life. Jedediah said i hate orgean but something happens at the end.
Patrice
Dec 26, 2011 Patrice rated it it was amazing
I generally find pioneering interesting and preferred this story to Douglas Allen Deed's tale.
Meghan
Sep 13, 2013 Meghan rated it liked it
Too few mishaps happened to be very authentic and epilogue was hard to follow.
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Ellen Levine's books have won many awards and honors, including the Jane Addams Peace Award. Although she enjoys writing both fiction and nonfiction, most of Ellen's books for young readers have been nonfiction. "Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago."

Ellen Levine was born in New York City
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