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The Trail

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  876 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Toby has to finish the final thing on The List.

It's a list of Brave, Daring, Totally Awesome Things that he and his best friend, Lucas, planned to do together, and the only item left is to hike the Appalachian Trail. But now Lucas isn't there to do it with him.

Toby's determined to hike the trail alone and fulfill their pact, which means dealing with the little things - the

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  876 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Another one I read per my son's request. His review when I asked him what he liked about it, "It has a lot of friendship and love. And it has sad parts but she heals the sadness. Also, it made me want to go hiking." Not sure I could write a better review than him. Agree wholeheartedly.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall, this book had a lot of adventure and action. However at some points, this book was really boring and felt like it took forever to read. But, it was a pretty good book that I recommend.
Flynn S
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good book. I have read this book more than once and personly I think it is better after you have read it once. This book could have been way more descriptive. It would have been better if it was spread out more.
Dmytro Shteflyuk
Picked up this book by a recommendation from my son. I expected it to be decent but wasn't really prepared to be swept away by the warmth and love, sadness and hope, the power of friendship, and the beauty and danger of hiking in the wilderness. Probably the best book I have read in a while.
Keoni G
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was sad and interesting at the same time. It is about a boy name Toby and he and his best friend Lucas have planned to hike the Appalachian trail. Unfortunately Lucas isn't there to do it with him. He meets many friends and challenges on the way.
Angela Watts
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I read this book in 2.5 hours after having it on my shelf since Christmas. The verdict? EPIC.


I'm a huge sucker for middle grade fiction and an even greater sucker when the main character is a boy who deserves hugs and hot coco. The story was fantastic and bold while remaining realistic in its own sense. While we follow the main character as he trudges through the trail, we also see good in the world, as much as we see the bad.

The story is well paced and I couldn't put it down. A refreshing
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I LOVED this, friends.
It kept me up past my bedtime.

Kid hiking by himself.

(view spoiler)
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
My 12 year old and I read this together. He is a reluctant reader and needs a lot of encouragement and support for his monthly book reports. This book was an exception. He absolutely loved it. During our read aloud sessions, he is usually very squirrelly. Whenever I read this book to him, he was absolutely calm, still and riveted. I think this is the first book that he really followed closely and got super engrossed in. He would read chapters at school and tell me he got so lost in the story he ...more
Owen Conway
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I gave it this rating because I liked how the author pulled out the moment, For example when on boy was about to fall off a cliff.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. My son loved it. I agree that it's a good story. It could use more detail and character development, but worth the read.
Also. I want to go backpacking now.
Kathy Mathey
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
All things "survival" with several unique twists; highly recommended for middle school students
Melissa Jung
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another middle school pick — it deals well with grief and self-doubt but still a fast-paced adventure.
May 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved it! It kinda reminded me of Hatchet it's a book similar with this one both of them have divorced parents there both struggle with a problem. Toby was struggling with the death of his friend. The guy in hatchet is struggling with the secret of his mother cheating on his dad. The authors have a similar Technique they reveal the struggles in flashbacks and memories threw out the story.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger
This was a pretty good read. I really liked the characters and their travels. There were definitely a few close calls and they kept me turning pages. I'd say this is would be good for about tween aged youngsters. This was written very well too. There's some humor, suspense, determination, self-discovery, courage, strong characters, and a good ending. This is something I might enjoy reading again but I don't think it will be a S&R book. It definitely has me wanting to enjoy the great outdoors and ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great adventure book akin to Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain. It has been nominated for our state readers award for 4th-7th graders. We read it aloud in 4th grade and we LOVED it. The kids made lots of great observations about main character Toby and his journey both on the trail and in life. It gave us opportunities to lear. A little more about the Appalachian Trail which runs not far past our elementary school.
If anybody knows how to get ahold of author Meika Hashimoto, we’ve g
"I got into hiking because I'm trying to grow up." It's the best half truth I can give.
"'Grow up'?" Ahead of me, Sean shakes his head. "What does that even mean?"
"I've...always needed people. I've always been a follower. Out here on the trail, I want to learn how to grow up. Depend on myself. Learn how to be alone."

Is it odd that this and all three of the other MG/YA books I've found about the Appalachian trail have involved the protagonist either running away or lying to their parents?

Laura Gardner
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for my first book of #vacation! I LOVED The Trail by @meikahashimoto — fabulous adventure #mglit book that belongs in all middle school libraries!
Toby is hiking the Appalachian Trail alone at age 12 with a goal of hiking from VT all the way to Mt. Katahdin. His grandmother doesn’t know where he is and he is a definitely a beginner hiker. He has supplies and a plan, but he can’t account for all that will happen along the way...the blisters, the hunger, the other hikers and
American Mensa
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Trail. Even the title has an exciting ring to it. This book, written by the talented Meika Hashimoto, is an amazing and thrilling adventure that takes you through the mountains and forests of the Appalachian Trail. In this wild tale, you will meet a young hiker named Toby who is attempting to cross off the last adventure on the list of things that he and his best friend Lucas had planned to do together. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and now Toby is hiking the Appalachian Trail a ...more
Tessa Joy
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Toby and Lucas were two inseparable friends after Toby moved in with his grandmother. Lucas was brave and outgoing, while Toby tagged quietly along. Together, the boys planned several daring summer activities to do before school started. One activity was hiking the risky Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately, Lucas is killed attempting another of their activities. To aid his grief, Toby follows through with their hike, except he goes alone and doesn’t tell anyone. Soon the hazards of the outdoors thr ...more
Terry Maguire
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I was blown away by the depth of research Hashimoto clearly did to write such a realistically rendered telling of Toby's hike along the New Hampshire stretch of the Appalachian Trail. As a through-hiker who happens to live right near this stretch of trail, I could not believe how Hashimoto even got the tiny details right about the nature of the AMC huts, crew traditions, the through-hiking community, descriptions of the trail, & "trail magic" acts of human kindness. The story is an exciting ...more
Mark Hedberg
I thought the realistic fiction book "The Trail," by Meika Hashimoto was an emotional and a very well written book. She included lots of figurative languages and influenced the theme of the book very well. The theme was to always love yourself and you can always overcome self-doubt no matter how bad it gets. On page 133 there is a great example of Toby self-doubt and how strong it was, "No. No, you can’t, says the part of me that is small and cold and scared. You can’t. You can’t You can’t. I’m ...more
Marti Ellerbrock
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this middle grade novel, Toby sets off on the AT to finish the to-do list he and his late friend Lucas made for the summer. From the start, the author lets the reader know that Toby feels responsible for his friend's death, however, how he dies is not revealed until much later in the story. Toby and Lucas has planned to do this as their last item on the list, so Toby is not completely unpreparedfor the AT, however, challenges come up along the way. His food runs out numerous times, the weathe ...more
Melissa Bennrup
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A word of warning about this book especially if you have any experience of hiking - it's not to be read without snacks. I found myself getting up to feed several times so accurate are the descriptions of the realities of hiking. The blisters, the thirst, the hunger, the heaviness of the pack.

As Toby progresses along the trail interacting with various adults, Hoshimoto does not shy away from the difficulties life can throw at us. She does an excellent job of balancing Toby's experience of both
A Lil' Bit
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Toby, a middle schooler, sets out to hike the trail beginning from his grandmother’s backyard. Hiking the trail hadn’t been solely his decision. It was the last thing to be accomplished on a summer “to-do” list that he and his best friend, Lucas, had scripted.
Although the premise of this book is based around the adventure of hiking the Appalachian Trail, I didn’t feel like it was an extremely, adventurous tale. If I am being honest, I found many of the “adventurous” pieces to be boring
Loved this book! An outdoor survival tale as a 12-year-old boy tackles the Appalachian trail on his own, leaving his grandmother a note. He is personally dealing with parents who don't want him- they divorced and neither thought they could afford to keep him - and the death of his best friend, fo which he feels some guilt.
I loved the theme of finding solace and solitude and strength in nature BUT ALSO nature can be a deadly beast, so the parallel theme of learning to give and receive support gra
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I ordered this book without investigating it, on impulse, "judging a book by its cover" for certain! So I was surprised to realize it was a YA fiction! But I am a committed hiker and was in a week of medical tests and procedures and needed a light read, so i put down my "heavy" book and began to read this anyway. The plot's action is a bit forced, in its series of misadventures, so perhaps it's probably perfect for its target audience, but the freal story around those bones - the internal sorrow ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-2019-msba
In this coming of age tale, Toby is determined to solo hike the Appalachian trail from near his home in New Hampshire to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Along the way, he shares his story with the reader and reflects on his life as he works through losses he has encountered. While proving to himself that he can survive on his own, he also learns that it is ok to ask for help and to receive help from others. After being rescued by two older boys, he ends up helping them further up the trail. He also adopt ...more
Toby and Lucas were best friends who created a bucket list of brave, daring, and totally awesome things. Together they work through them- except the last-hiking the Appalachian Trail. After a tragic event Toby decides to hike the trail alone to honor their pact and their friendship. But the trail is not an easy journey and any step could be your last. Toby encounters blisters and bears, and faces down moose and memories, but he is not alone. He befriends a starving dog and occasionally two trail ...more
Twelve-year-old Toby sets out to hike 400 or so miles of the Appalachian Trail from Vermont to Maine by himself - he wants to honor the memory of the friend he planned to do the hike with who died in an unfortunate accident (for which Toby blames himself). Middle school boys will enjoy the adventure and survival aspects of the book. Themes of guilt, redemption and the importance of caring for others are also important parts of the story. The portrayal of life on the Appalachian Trail is accurate ...more
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MEIKA HASHIMOTO's first baking foray was a chocolate cake. She was eight years old and, in her excitement, forgot a few key ingredients like sugar and baking powder. She also left the cake in the oven for far too long. Although it resembled a brick, her parents politely ate it and gave her very encouraging feedback. Meika's baking techniques have improved greatly since then. When she's not kneadin ...more

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