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Wagon Wheels

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  500 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Free people,
Free landThe Muldie boys and their father have come a long way to Kansas. But when Daddy moves on, the three boys must begin their own journey. They must learn to care for one another and face the dangers of the wilderness alone.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published May 23rd 1984 by HarperCollins (first published May 9th 1978)
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Nicola Mansfield
Dec 05, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
I really like this story and find it very unique in its choice of topic. Here we have a tale of black pioneers heading west to settle on free land being offered by the government. Based on the real life story of the Muldie boys, whose story was chronicled in a local teacher's journal from the town of Nicodemus. The book runs chronologically and tells of the hardships of the pioneers traveling this way, dugouts, harsh winter, an encounter with Indians and prairie fires. The boy's father being a c ...more
Apr 16, 2014 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A book my 6 yr old loved, a little old for my preschoolers. A solid reading level 3 book, this reader has a good amount of advanced vocabulary words, but not so long that it discourages a new reader. Used it for his read out loud book, which was perfect. It took about 15 mins for him to read and had just enough new vocabulary words to make it challenging. Also, it was a fun and interesting story he could get into. Educational as well. A great story to go along with a lesson on pioneers! Great re ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Asho rated it really liked it
My four-year-old picked this out at the library without giving it much thought (which is how he is picking most of his books lately; I tell him it's time to go and he should choose his books, and he basically just grabs the first thing to catch his eye/whatever is closest to him). We read it at bedtime tonight, and his reaction afterwards was, "Wow, that was a long one!" I probably should have read just a couple of chapters, but he usually presses me to read the whole book, so I powered through. ...more
Kathryn Reeder
Dec 08, 2014 Kathryn Reeder rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tishandra Mayfield
Apr 01, 2014 Tishandra Mayfield rated it really liked it
Shelves: authors
Barbara Brenner is a respected, award-winning author, specializing in both juvenile fiction and non-fiction educational materials that deals with animals, nature, and ecology. Her interests range from the natural world (Think about Ants) to American history (Wagon Wheels), all of which are reflected in the wide scope of her work. One of her best-selling titles was Wagon Wheels, which deals with the trials and tribulations of a close-knit African American family. This book was named an American L ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Gertrude rated it it was amazing
Historical Fiction

This book is about a family who travelled from Kentuchky to Kansas to get a free land. The three boys and their father begin to make their home in Kansas praire. It wasn't much of a place - dirt floor, dirt walls, no windows. And the roof was just grass and branches. They were glad to have a dugout when the wind began to whistle across the praires. The family live in dugout in the ground for harsh winter. In the winter, the Indians came to help them with food, when they were ou
Sara Check
Nov 06, 2011 Sara Check rated it liked it
1.Historical fiction, picture book.

2.After the Civil War, follow the Muldie boys and their father to Kansas to find free land through the Homestead Act.

3.A. This easy reader is just that, an easy read especially for beginner readers. Barbara Brenner uses appropriate language, varied sentence length and structure as well as short chapters to engage young readers. All of these along with the rugged, colorful illustrations transport the reader into a harsh but hopeful time in our country.

B. The gr
Apr 28, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing
Wagon Wheels is a good book. It has pictures on every page with some text to go along with it. The text can be decoded with the illustrations. Some words may not be familiar to children and the concepts are more complex than other beginner books. The book is divided into five chapters. The sentences are short and are always in black text on white space in straight lines at the top or bottom of the page.
Jun 12, 2011 ABC rated it liked it
Shelves: older-kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2016 Brandi rated it it was amazing
My kids and I loved this book! The story line naturally lends itself to chasing little bunny trails in search of life of natives and other topics like old west and homesteaders. We felt our hearts reach out to the characters as they encountered hardships on the life of the plains. Fantastic illustrations as well.
Oct 31, 2015 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is based on a true story. It gives a great glimpse into what life was like for many and offers an opportunity to talk about some of the more unpleasant parts of American history and what that meant for some Americans. It's well written and illustrated, so makes a great addition to a child's library.
Feb 22, 2015 Luis rated it really liked it
A story about an African American man who braves the dangers of moving from Kentucky to Kansas with his three boys as they seek a better life. His journey does not look promising, but his heart is still hopeful despite the hardships along the way.
Lisa Overberg
Sep 11, 2013 Lisa Overberg rated it really liked it
This story, illustrated by Don Bolognese, tells of the difficulties faced by families who sought to obtain free land and settle in the West under the Homestead Act. Readers learn early in the story that the mother has already died as they journeyed from Kentucky. After surviving a long winter in Kansas with the help of Osage Indians, the father leaves his three boys alone to hunt, fish, and take care of each other while he travels further west to find fertile land. He sends a letter and map via ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Kristin rated it liked it
The genre of this book is historical fiction and is intended for children ages (P) five to eight. This book is actually based on a true story. It is about a family who traveled from Kentucky to Kansas to try to get free land by the Homestead Act. You learn about how the family traveled, their losses, and how the Indians helped them to survive. It's a great book to teach children about the Homestead Act, and how families moved to the West in order to get free land. Children probably won't find th ...more
Books Kids Like
Sep 23, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it really liked it
When a black man moves his family from Kentucky to Kansas, the mother dies along the way. The father and his three sons arrive in Nicodemus just in time to build themselves a soddie and hunker down for the winter. Food gets scarce, but the town is saved when a group of Indians bring them deer, fish, beans, and squash. In the spring, the boys watch as their father leaves to find a real piece of farmland where they can build a proper home. This books tells Ed Muldie's story. The boys did stay alon ...more
Maggie Browning
Feb 28, 2015 Maggie Browning rated it it was amazing
I love this book.
Aug 03, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
An early reader about a pioneer family.
Phuong Dao
Apr 07, 2011 Phuong Dao rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-study
I really enjoyed this book because it is about the three father and son who tried to make it to another land to build a home where day can stay. During the time when they were staying underground, the Indian had come to help them with their food when they were out of food and hays to burn to keep them warm. Wagon wheels is a touching story about father and sons tried to start their new lives in a place where there were no discrimination againist them.
papay sesay
Oct 01, 2012 papay sesay rated it really liked it
This book is about a family named the Muldie family. They were slaves in Kentucky so they had an idea of moving from Kentucky to Kansas. When they were crossing the river of Kansas their mother died so they had to keep moving. When they reached Nicodemus there were no trees. It was all grass. They saw a man named Mr.Hickman. Mr. Hickman helped Ed Muldie and his three sons dig a dugout for the winter.
Jan 07, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I read this with my elementary-age sons, one an eager reader and the other a reluctant reader. We all thoroughly enjoyed this true story about a father and his three sons searching for place to settle in Kansas in the mid 1800s. An excellent mix of everyday history and adventure that my boys loved.
Oct 01, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of these historical easy readers that make portions of history accessible to a younger age-set of children. This book was a great story not only of making a life out on the prairie, but of an African-American family as well. A great story.
Ana Lupu
Oct 04, 2012 Ana Lupu rated it it was amazing
Wagon Wheels is a good book. I also think that it's very sad to lose their mother on their journey. Now they have to fend for themselves and their dad leaves them by themselves to find a new place to live. And the rest is for you to read enjoy!
I just read it because I was bored took me about twenty minutes to read...It says its based off a true story. It was a cute little story that's about the survival of a black family right after the Homestead act.
Jebbeh Fahnbulleh
Dec 16, 2011 Jebbeh Fahnbulleh rated it it was amazing
i like this book because the Muldie family is very nice to the people. They always know what they are doing. Those muldie boys and their father are going to Kansas to make a bigger life there because in there con
Donzell Fomond
Feb 01, 2012 Donzell Fomond rated it really liked it
I like this book because it is a true story, and it is a good book. It is sad too because their mom died, and now it is the four of them. Their dad built them a house. Their dad had grown them some food.
Jul 18, 2010 Herbert rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This story provides a case study on what life was like for blacks who left the south during Reconstruction. Students see how the Homestead Act affected blacks and others.
Oct 30, 2007 Hernan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: a friend
i like this book i learned that your parents may trust you that when he goes to somewhere then he send you a message your parents might trust you on this quest.
Jan 11, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my
I like this book because it's a good book. I like this book because he made sure his family was okay. I like this book because they get a better home.

Jaison betances
Oct 30, 2007 Jaison betances added it
Recommends it for: to every body
wat i like about this book is that you never know
when is that the book is ending.This book reminds me of when i get left alone in my house with my sister
Morgan Wright
Feb 19, 2013 Morgan Wright added it
Shelves: ece-3601
Good small chapter book about the hardships of moving out west in the pioneer days. I like the way the illustrations are drawn
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Barbara Brenner is a respected, award-winning author, specializing in works of both juvenile fiction and nonfiction educational material that deals with animals, nature, and ecology. Her interests range from the natural world (i.e. Thinking about Ants) to American history (e.g. Wagon Wheels), all of which are reflected in the wide scope of her work. Brenner discussed with Contemporary Authors Onli ...more
More about Barbara Brenner...

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