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The Trail

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  627 ratings  ·  125 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 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  627 ratings  ·  125 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.
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 R. 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
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.
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.
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 ...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
"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 their
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 ...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 ...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 ...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
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
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 ...more
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
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 ...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
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 ...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 ...more
Stephanie B
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a good read, it was interesting. This book is about a kid named Tony who was going to go on a huge nature trip with his friend Lucus but then he could not go with him so Tony was forces to go on the scary and lonely hike. But it turned out that he didn't have to be alone because he found a dog that needed him. I would reccomend this book to a friend because it was good and it's great for both genders. A quote I foung was on page 214, "I can continue on the trail and finish what me ...more
Naomi Campbell
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
I did like this book, but it could've been so much better. The ideas were great, but their presentation was too slow for me. I mean, it is a tragic story, but yet it just kind of kept going on. Maybe she was onto something with the whole "trail" and how it does take forever and it so monotonous at times, didn't capture me like I had hoped. Don't get me wrong, there were interesting characters and some drama and some funny stuff just...wasn't ... quite...something. At least for ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was decent, it makes me want to hike more, but it was definitely not top notch. There could have been WAY more description, and stuff, but whatever. Also, I thought it was sort of dumb how he didn’t make it to Katahdin, wasn’t that like the whole point? I liked Moose. Also, I liked how Toby developed as a character and how his stories tied in with others. That was cool. All in all, this book wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst. It’s a good fast read for someone who likes ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great adventure novel for juvenile fiction readers. This book reminded me of Cheryl Strayed's Wild, with a character fighting both their present situation while hiking and deal with a past struggle that is haunting them. Toby is fourteen and hiking the Appalachian Trail solo. He was supposed to be doing this trip with his best friend Lucas, but things did not work out. Now Toby is on the trail alone and trying to stay alive and keep his promise to Lucas. A very realistic adventure story with ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
The author clearly has experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. The hiking portions seemed very authentic. The narrative arc of the story had some important lessons about being able to forgive oneself, depend on others in healthy ways and how to adapt to life as it happens. How the story came to an ending seemed somewhat contrived to me, which was a disappointment. I also wished for nature and the landscape to be more fully a part of the story. This book was shelved in the childrens' section at ...more
Krista Danis
This is a good recommendation for kids who love realistic fiction and adventure stories. Young Toby is dealing with heavy issues that children often navigate with no point of reference or guidance, such as disinterested parents, death of a friend, and running away. Hashimoto expertly crafts a narrative that addresses these challenging themes with an age-appropriate approach, allowing her young characters a range of emotion and experience that remains interesting and relatable for the reader.

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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 ...more
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