Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds: The Donner Party Expedition, 1846 (My Name Is America)” as Want to Read:
Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds: The Donner Party Expedition, 1846  (My Name Is America)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds: The Donner Party Expedition, 1846 (My Name Is America)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  324 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Douglas Deeds, a fifteen-year-old orphan, keeps a journal of his travels by wagon train as a member of the ill-fated Donner Party, which became stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the winter of 1846-47.
Hardcover, 155 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 741)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Janie
Jul 27, 2009 Janie rated it really liked it
Not the best historical fiction I've ever read. I really liked the story, even though it was way too short. I think the Dear America ones are better...
Drucilla
Jun 30, 2014 Drucilla rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed, dear-america
I think everyone has heard about the Donner party, but they don’t know the specifics. The author does a great job making you sympathize with the expedition and while he doesn’t skirt the cannibalism issue, he presents it in a very impartial way. I would have liked the epilogue filled out a little more and the historical note could have detailed the lives of the surviving party members better, but I did like the fold out map (although it could have used more detail too).


Side Note: My mama got me
...more
Kelsey Hanson
Dec 12, 2015 Kelsey Hanson rated it it was ok
Not my favorite in this series. I will get this out of the way first. When you think of the Donner party, typically you think of the cannibalism that the survivors used to survive. This IS a book designed for pre-teens so there are no graphic descriptions of the settlers eating their dead (thankfully). the diary ends where things were still pretty bleak, but before they resorted to this. This is a rather watered down account of what happened for obvious reasons which might have been why it seeme ...more
Pauline
Apr 06, 2014 Pauline rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated with the story of the Donner Party. I live in CA and it's such a part of CA history and I grew up in Springfield, IL where the Donner Party began their trek West. I've camped at Donner State Park and seen the statue indicating how high the snow was that fateful winter of 1846 and I've read Ordeal by Hunger. I picked this Scholastic book up to see if it would be appropriate for my young grandsons. I enjoyed it since it's written from a young person's perspective. It does mention th ...more
Kayla
Mar 26, 2010 Kayla rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book, I loved it! :-)
I recommend this book to anyone, it is a book well worth reading. As the name suggests it is about the Donner Party Expedition, and that's all I am going to say.
Andrea
Aug 01, 2011 Andrea added it
The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds, by Rodman Philbrick, part of the My Name is America series, an offshoot of the Dear America series that is clearly aimed at boys. All of the supposed diary authors in this series are boys, and most are witnesses to horrors like war, concentration camps, the Trail of Tears, and in the case of this particular book, the Donner Party.

The hardship that Douglas experienced and the horrors that he witnessed come through vividly in his diary. The photos at the end mak
...more
KidsFiction Teton County Library
J Philbrick

This book is one of the many historical and fictional journals that make up the "My Name is America" series. Written by Rodman Philbrick, author of "The Young Man and the Sea" and "Freak the Mighty", this story follows fictional character Douglas Allen Deeds as he ventures west from Missouri in 1846 in hopes of finding gold in California. Douglas is an orphan who quickly befriends Edward Breen, an actual member of the Donner Party and a fellow young boy making the long journey with hi
...more
Cora
The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds by Rodman Philbrick is the story of the Donner Party Expedition told through fifteen-year old orphan Douglas Deeds. It all began in 1846 when many settlers embarked on their journey to travel to California from Independence, Missouri. Many in the party are hoping to make it big and start a better life or even find who they really are. They travel along in wagon trains and some on horses; however, they don’t travel far each day. Many challenges arise: food shor ...more
Jane Fujiwara
Dec 13, 2015 Jane Fujiwara rated it liked it
I love this series. And I think they are great educational tools. But I wonder a bit about content for a younger audience. However definitely a great starting point for anyone interested in this tragedy.
Christiane
Aug 22, 2009 Christiane rated it really liked it
I'm always recommending these books to kids but I can't recall ever reading one, so I thought I'd pick one where I already know a lot of the history. This book was amazing! The journal format brings you right into the action and caring about what happens to the characters. Though fiction, the historical events and people are portrayed accurately. The historical note section at the end puts events into context. Many of the books are written by well known children's authors, including Walter Dean ...more
TJL
Gotta say, I wasn't expecting a book in this series to deal with this particular event in history (cannibalism generally doesn't come up in books targeted at this age-group), but the author pulled it off very well, especially in communicating the desperation that these people were facing at the time.

The only thing that bugged me was that the word 'damn' was censored in the book. We can allude to cannibalism, but we have to write 'damn' as 'd-mn'? (To be fair, I don't know if that was the author
...more
Julie
Feb 07, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This installment in the Dear America series is a sure-bet for boys who are reluctant readers. (What boy doesn't want to read about people who end up eating each other?) As disturbing as the true details of the Donner Party expedition may be, Rodman Philbrick does a good job of giving just enough detail, without relying on the gross-out factor. It's a real story about the dynamics of a group of people in peril, and how panic and selfishness can lead to failure. The historical information and phot ...more
ParkKids!
Jan 28, 2016 ParkKids! rated it really liked it
Emaline
Molly
Nov 11, 2012 Molly rated it really liked 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.
Annalee
Jan 04, 2009 Annalee rated it it was amazing
This is a book about the Donner party Expedition.It talks about them going to California on there wagons. It starts on may 12,1846 and ends on January 3,1847.They go through a lot of trouble. first they agreed to take a shortcut. Then the shortcut was not a shortcut. then they crossed the great salt lake and a lot of people died. On the way snow came over night on the sierra mountains they were only 60 miles from California.
Shawn Ward
Apr 28, 2014 Shawn Ward rated it really liked it
They are still heading west
Meghan
Nov 19, 2013 Meghan rated it liked it
The story was good, though for someone who already knows about the Donner Party, all the talk about food leading up to the starvation was a little too obvious. The epilogue and historical note were too short and made it sound like Westward Expansion was centered around the Donner Party.
Linda Crowley
Dec 15, 2012 Linda Crowley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Journal of a 15 year old orphan traveling from Missouri to California in a wagon train beginning in 1846. I enjoyed this book and read it in 2 days. Short and easy to read. At times, I didn't want to put it down.
Hello Kitty
May 14, 2008 Hello Kitty rated it liked it
This is a good book this book is about mr. george donner how he pay his respect to all his church memories . mow the man didnt know about california he had just moved there and he was very scared.
Sarai Lillie
Sep 09, 2013 Sarai Lillie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in "Dear America"
I enjoyed this book, though I felt some of the history was quite lax. Over all a decent enough read, now I am on a mission to read more about the Donner Party's fated expedition.
Lillian
Apr 05, 2008 Lillian rated it it was amazing
this book has stuck with me more than any of the other Dear America series i've read. i think of disasters and what people will do to survive in a differant way since i read it.
Kelly Ann
Apr 21, 2010 Kelly Ann rated it liked it
The Story of a boy as he travels with the Donner Party. Has some disheartening stories in it, I would suggest it to an older reading group...
Heidi
Feb 27, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it
Recommended to Heidi by: Porter
The things you do to help your kids with their book reports! Actually, I thought this book was very interesting. Now, we've got to make a diorama.
Ollie Bradshaw
Jul 24, 2013 Ollie Bradshaw rated it really liked it
It kept me turing the pages but not really super great if you already know about the donner party
Amber
Oct 01, 2013 Amber rated it really liked it
I must say, the cannibalism was handled rather nicely.
Patrice
Dec 26, 2011 Patrice rated it really liked it
This story was horrible, but morbidly fascinating.
Amber P.
Dec 17, 2010 Amber P. rated it did not like it
not as great as i thought it was goin 2 b
Gina
Mar 30, 2011 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like history, you will like this
Nina
Aug 27, 2011 Nina rated it liked it
Good but gruesome.
Partridge Public
Sep 10, 2007 Partridge Public added it
Recommends it for: JF Phi
Shelves: juniorfiction
Philbrink, Rodman
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Journal Of Otto Peltonen, A Finnish Immigrant (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal Of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier: Virginia, 1863 (My Name is America #)
  • Journal of Jedediah Barstow: An Emigrant On The Oregon Trail (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce: A Pilgrim Boy (My Name Is America)
  • Journal Of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of Finn Reardon, A Newsie (My Name Is America)
  • Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804
  • The Journal of Jesse Smoke : A Cherokee Boy, Trail of Tears, 1838 (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty: United States Marine Corps, Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 1968 (My Name Is America)
  • Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (Dear America)
  • Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (Dear America)
  • Westward to Home (My America: Joshua's Oregon Trail Diary, #1)
  • Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner, California, 1852 (My Name is America)
  • Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl (Dear America)
  • The Journal of Rufus Rowe, A Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg (My Name Is America)
  • Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalía de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (Dear America)
5817
Aka William R Dantz, Chris Jordan, W.R. Philbrick.

Rodman Philbrick grew up on the New England coast, where he worked as a longshoreman and boat builder. For many years he wrote mysteries and detective novels. The Private Eye Writers of America nominated two of his T.D.Stash series as best detective novel and then selected Philbrick's 'Brothers & Sinners' as Best Novel in 1993. Writing under th
...more
More about Rodman Philbrick...

Other Books in the Series

My Name Is America (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Journal Of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier: Virginia, 1863 (My Name is America #)
  • The Journal Of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War 2 Soldier
  • Journal Of Sean Sullivan, A Transcontinental Railroad Worker (My Name Is America)
  • The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 Mirror Lake Internment Camp (My Name Is America)
  • Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner, California, 1852 (My Name is America)
  • The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce: A Pilgrim Boy (My Name Is America)
  • Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804
  • The Journal Of Otto Peltonen, A Finnish Immigrant (My Name Is America)

Share This Book