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Bound for Oregon

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  417 ratings  ·  51 reviews
With only a guide book to show them the way, the Todd family sets out from their Arkansas home on a two thousand mile trek to claim uncharted Oregon Territory. Crossing rough terrain and encountering hostile Indians, the Todds show their true pioneering spirit. But as winter draws near, will the Todds have the strength to complete their journey? And if they make it, will O ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published October 1st 1994)
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Bound for Oregon by Jean Van LeeuwenAcross The Wide And Lonesome Prairie by Kristiana GregoryUnder a Painted Sky by Stacey  LeeA Heart For Any Fate by Linda CrewTrue Sisters by Sandra Dallas
Oregon Trail fiction
1st out of 25 books — 7 voters
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls WilderLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderCaddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie BrinkLittle Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderOn the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Children's Frontier Fiction
21st out of 110 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

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Shellys♥ Journal
I might be the only adult who reviewed this book. ha ha.

Bound for Oregon is a wonderful book about Mary Ellen Todd and her trip with her family to Oregon in 1853. It is based on recollections collected by her daughter and historical research of things that happened on trips of the Oregon Trail. It is told in narrative form, from Mary Ellen's point of view.

It chronicles every point of the trip - from the decision making and starting up to river crossings, plains crossings, Indians, mountains, dis

I thought that the book Bound for Oregon was a good book because I like adventure books and I also like dairies. This book is placed under non-fiction. If you like the book Catherine called Birdy here’s your book. The main character Mary Todd and her family decide to go to the rich farming lands of Oregon. In order to get there they will have to face 2,000 miles of danger, disease, weather, rivers, water shortage and much more. After this do you think they will be able to tough it out or will th
Bianca Rosa-Aviles
Bound for Oregon is a straightforward narrative and a great introduction to historical fiction. Using this novel as a read aloud is great because it will allow the students to become truly invested in the story. I used this novel for my fourth grade class during our Westward Expansion unit. This novel is based on the real-life experiences of a family who moved to Oregon. As the Todd family travels from Arkansas along the Oregon Trail, readers will "watch" up-close the hardships they faced and th ...more
Sandra Fahrlender
Good book about the Oregon Trail and how settlers traveled many miles by wagon train to Oregon for a better life. Mary Todd tells her story and how her family survived the many trials of the trail. My 6th grade enjoyed it and it created a discussion on how others lived before technology.
"I have seen many curiosities since I last saw you. Parts of the journey I liked very much, but some were tiresome. There was a great deal of sickness, and parts of the road were impossible to travel." Writes nine year old Mary Ellen in a letter to her grandma at the end of the journey.
Based on a book written by the daughter of Mary Ellen Todd, it is the true story of Mary Ellen's family's long journey from Arkansas to Oregon by wagon. Everything in this book is well researched and is a very go
Katharine Ott
"Louvina, are you awake?" I whispered." Older sister Mary Ellen is our narrator for this well-told story of a family's westward migration in the mid-1800s. Author Jean Van Leeuwen did extensive research and "Bound for Oregon" is an expansion of the true adventures of the Todd family as they traveled from Arkansas to Oregon in a covered wagon. A nice touch is a map in the front with their trail marked which I consulted frequently.

The struggles of everyday life at that time are magnified by the a

Families needed goodly amounts of common sense, courage and religious faith in order to endure the ordeal of the covered wagon journey to Oregon and/or California--regardless of the route chosen. The Todd family of Arkansas proved flexible and resourceful during the six-month
test of physical and moral endurance in 1852--the year of the terrible cholera epidemic. Based on the diaries of adults and grown children of the Oregon Trail this book faithfully reproduces the c
Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 164 pgs

1852, Oregon Trail Arkansas/Oregon. 9 year old Mary Ellen Todd and her family decide to make the dangerous journey from their home in Arkansas to Oregon. On the way, they must overcome illness, dangerous rivers, and injuries. Based on a true story.

Great story. The only concern is that one of the characters, a slave owner, uses the n-word. The author chose to include this word because, based on the actual diary of Mary Ellen, that was the word that the person used.
Oct 29, 2008 Kristen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 8 up
Recommended to Kristen by: Emma
Good descriptive narrative of a young girl's trip to Oregon in the 1850s. Based on a true account. Mary Ellen, at nine, is the oldest of three girls. Her father and stepmother are taking them to Oregon, along with John, a fifteen year old neighbor boy whose family cannot keep him.

What really comes through is the travelers' patience, common sense, determination, and quiet faith. When things get tough, time and again they turn to God for comfort. As in all pioneer stories, I'm always amazed at th
Based on a true story, this book is well researched and well written. Realistic without being too scary for young readers, it will keep their attention and teach them about the history of the Oregon Trail as well. Highly recommended! I will now give it to my granddaughter to read!
Avalon Sueiro
My favorite part of this book is when there new baby brother is born. What I didn't like is that a number of people die in the book. I learned that patience and confidence can get you a long way.
The other John
This is a mostly true tale. While researching the Oregon Trail--the route many settlers used to travel overland to the west coast in the mid 19th Century--Ms. Van Leeuwen came across the memoirs of Mary Ellen Todd, a woman who had traveled the trail as a nine-year-old back in 1852, as recorded by Mary Ellen's daughter. It was a fascinating account and, in order to make it more readable to a modern audience, Ms. Van Leeuwen rewrote the tale, fleshing out details with her own imagination and the a ...more
In Bound for Oregon, Jean Van Leevwen, is retelling a true story from the Oregon Trail. The story is part true and part made up with help from historical research. The main character is a nine year old girl named Mary Ellen Todd, and she is the oldest of three sisters. They started on the journey alone and later joined a large wagon train with hundreds of wagons in it.

My favorite part of the book was when the mother had a baby boy on the middle of the trail, which they named Elijah. Like the L
Sep 25, 2009 Issabella added it
Recommends it for: people who like adventure stories
Recommended to Issabella by: nobody
I thought that the book Bound for Oregon was a good book because I like adventure books and I also like dairies. This book is placed under non-fiction. If you like the book Catherine called Birdy here’s your book. The main character Mary Todd and her family decide to go to the rich farming lands of Oregon. In order to get there they will have to face 2,000 miles of danger, disease, weather, rivers, water shortage and much more. After this do you think they will be able to tough it out or will th ...more
Cecilia Syron
this is an awesome story and the sad part of this book is when people die it is sad .Do you think this I a happy or sad book or both?
i like it
Bound for Oregon is a book about a girl named Marry Ellen and her family travling from Arkansas to Oregon!` Marry Ellen is a little stubburn doesn't like to wear nice dresses and is really caring. I would recomend this book for some one who likes travling and possible death. by:kacie bye bye!!!!
Nov 24, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ages 9 and up (advanced reading levels)
Recommended to Kelly by: Our Elementary School
My daughter (9) and I read this book together. It is based on a true story about a young girl and her family's trip to Oregon in a covered wagon. It is brutally realistic and covers some issues (ie. slavery) that we discussed together. Once the family reached Oregon, my daughter and I enjoyed discussing the places we'd been that Mary Ellen had been (since we live in Oregon).

I would highly recommend this book to youth and adults alike.
Hermione Granger
Terrible. I had to read it for school. I just hate historical fiction. I love fantasy. See why I despise this book?
When it comes to reading history based subjects I prefer journey plots. I liked how this book described everything from the good to the bad so it got 4 stars. This got me into wanting to read the Little House On The Prairie books because some of them deal with the same topics. This book makes you realize how difficult life was and what people had to do to be able to live and thrive here in the new land of America.
Dawn Trlak-Donahue
Ok, I am a sucker for life on the prairie type books. But, that said, I do really think this story of a family that takes a chance on moving from Arkansas to Oregon right around the time of the Civil War was great.I am fascinated that so many people took this risk. Living out of a wagon for 6 months would be miserable, but I sure do enjoy reading about it.
This is a good book about a families westward journey. This book is set in the 1800's. I was required to read this for history. It was a bit disturbing in parts, but other than that this is a great read.
This book was very interesting and kept you on your toes. Every chapter there was something new and exciting! The book is about when a girl and her family take the journey to Oregon. They got sick and many died but this family was very lucky and interesting. If you like historical fiction then you will love this book.
This is a good tale about a family on the Oregon Trail which is based on a true story. It builds good background knowledge about the OT with my fourth graders and is a good compliment to my curriculum, but the story is not as complex and rich as others I choose to read aloud.
One of the best children's stories I've read in a while. The story itself is fairly typical - the main character and her family is traveling to Oregon to begin a new life - but the whole time they were singing Christian hymns and reading passages from the Bible.
Oct 12, 2012 Grace rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Girls
Recommended to Grace by: My father
I really liked this book as a girl. I find the Oregon Trail and that time of United States history, so this fictional book was an interesting way to learn about what life during this period might be like.
This is a good story about a young girl and her family's journey from Arkansas to Oregon. It illustrates the challenges and hardships they faced. A great read-aloud when teaching about the Oregon Trail.
This book was written from journals...I'm interested in reading the original. The story of crossing America in a wagon train on the Oregon trail is told from the perspective of a nine year old girl.
This has been my favorite book since I was a kid. I read it all the time, and always enjoy it. I love following this lovable family through the harsh journey of the Oregon trail.
Catty is quite awesome
I had to read this book in class. I LOVED it!! It was so great, and can give somebody a TON of useful information about the Oregon trail. Not to mention that it's a true story.
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bound for oregon 1 5 Oct 10, 2012 05:43PM  
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When I was growing up in the small town of Rutherford, New Jersey, I was always called a tomboy. That was because I loved riding bikes, climbing trees, and playing baseball with the boys in the neighborhood. When I finally came inside, I had another name: bookworm. I was seldom seen without a book in my hand. In the summertime, I would go to the library and come back with as many books as I could ...more
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