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The Race to Chimney Rock

(The Oregon Trail #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Go west, young pioneer—your journey begins here! In this first leg of your trek on the Oregon Trail, you need to find your way to Chimney Rock—but not without unpredictable challenges ahead. This is the first installment of four books that will take you all the way to Oregon Territory—if you make the right choices.

In book one of this exciting choose-your-own-trail series,
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Samantha Ania
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
1985's The Oregon Trail wasn't the only computer game to put you in a historical scenario and have you make life-or-death choices, but it's one of the best. The urgency of the narrative belies the game's rudimentary graphics, fully engaging one's imagination to trigger fear of failure. There's a real sense of calamity when an alert pops up that one of your oxen is injured or a child in your wagon team has died. This is what Houghton Mifflin Harcourt attempted to recreate beginning in 2018 with i ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun blast to the past! I don't know how much you would enjoy it if you never played the original computer game, but it was enjoyable for me. Plus, I only died once!

Popsugar Challenge 2019: A choose-your-own-adventure book
Kev Willoughby
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A cut above the ordinary Choose Your Own Adventure Books. There are 22 possible endings to this one, but only one of those endings leads you to the next book in the series. Not all the other endings are bad, but only the right sequence of correct choices leads to the one possible result that allows your character's family to successfully continue the journey on the Oregon Trail. ...more
I am a member of the Oregon Trail generation and fondly remember playing this in school many times. I wasn't particularly good at it, but I did manage to get to Oregon a few times without losing anyone or at least not too many people. Unfortunately I was not as talented at making my way through this book. Even after carefully reading the guide at the end, I made more mistaken choices than correct ones along the way. As expected from most 'you chose' style books there is little in the way of char ...more
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun and educational. Definitely recommend.
First sentence: You are loading up your covered wagon to head out to Oregon Territory, where a square mile of free farmland awaits your family. It's 1850 and there aren't any planes or trains yet, so you'll have to walk while your oxen pull your jam-packed wagon across North America's Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and the lands of many First Nations tribes, like the Otoe-Missouria, Osage, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Arapaho, and Shoshone.

Premise/plot: The Race to Chimney Rock is the first in a four boo
I don't often wish for half star rating options, but I think this is a 3.5 star book. I picked it up for sheer nostalgia. What kid my age DIDN'T love the Oregon Trail game? and what better way to bring it to life than through a choose your own ending book? I grabbed a copy the minute I saw it.
In execution, though, the book itself falls somewhere between the kitschy nostalgia one might expect for a book based on a favorite old computer game and an earnest juvenile historical fiction, like the I S
Alina Karapandzich
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I really like this series concept and surprisingly, the Oregon trail works really well in book format! I feel like it's also more educational than the game because it includes more real world landmarks and detailed descriptions of different diseases and medicines and different Native peoples (without portraying white people as the "good guys" either, which I'm happy about). The text can get pretty dark and gruesome and violent though (as life on the Oregon trail was!) and the fictional boy you a ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bottom line: we didn't make it. BUT! The story was more engaging than most CYOA and the sections between choices longer and more in depth. AJ was truly satisfied with the ending that we got because now, as a result, we have put Ash Hollow National Park on our travel bucket list. I asked if he wanted to start over and see if we could make it to Chimney Rock and he wasn't certain. We may have to wait a bit to try to make that decision. Maybe we can pick it up again in a few weeks and see if we can ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a game type book. You get to make decisions on traveling the Oregon Trail and you see what goes wrong or right with each of your choices. If you don't make it to your designation with your first choices, you get to start over again and again and again...…….. This is the first in a series and should bring enjoyment to preteens and teens, but anyone will find this book fun. ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Awesome blast from the past! Both the “choose-your-own-adventure” and the Oregon Trail storyline. 4, solid “remember when”, stars!

Age range given on the book, 7-12. I would agree. Some of the choices end poorly for the MC, but not all end badly. Written in an engaging way and some pictures to break up blocks of text. Definitely recommended.
Beth Anne
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This is book one in a series of choose your own adventure books themed like the old school Oregon trail video game. This wasn’t nearly as fun as trying to hunt deer or buffalo but it’s far easier to go back and try again when you die (and with only one good ending, there are a lot of ways to die). Super fun and clever, not too educational, but I liked that many historical nuggets were woven throughout.
This was a lot of fun, and I survived a bear attack and dysentery! I plan to rip through the rest of these today. JFIC, so somewhat youth-oriented, but you can still drown. Captures the spirit of the game perfectly.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
really enjoy choosing the story!
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Is the writing stellar? No. But is the reading experience incredibly fun? Yes, yes it is.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Can I give the book four stars if I haven't made it to Chimney Rock yet? On the bright side, I haven't died every time I failed; sometimes I just chose to quit and settle somewhere besides Oregon!

The book is a little info-dumpy in a way I find heavy-handed as someone who already knows about the Oregon Trail (and about the Oregon Trail computer game), but I think younger readers will get a lot out of learning about the different ways of surviving/dying on the trail. There's not much of a narrativ
TammyJo Eckhart
This book amused me because my hubby has played the computer game "The Oregon Trail" and we went to a lecture in the spring about the history and current life of that game. Turning it into a book seems quaint but also a good way to encourage more reading and develop empathy about the past.

The end of the book has a survival guide and we did as suggested and read that first. Then we used that as I read and my audience made his decisions. The guide didn't tell us everything, all choices have conse
Teresa Grabs
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn’t remember playing The Oregon Trail? (okay, don’t answer that) Wiley’s book series takes the game and turns it into a choose your own adventure complete with dysentery, starvation, snakebite, and more.

You, Ma, Pa, and your little sister, Hannah, and younger brother Samuel, begin the journey in Independence, Missouri and have already traveled from Kentucky on your way West.

Some decisions are made by Pa, but he lets you pick if you’re going to start in April or in May. From there, how th
Tara Strosnider
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's 1850 and your first goal is to get your family, covered wagon full of supplies, and oxen to Chimney Rock on time. But hurry—you'll need to make it through the rugged mountains before winter snow hits. Plus, there are wild animals, natural disasters, unpredictable weather, fast-flowing rivers, strangers, and sickness that will be sure to stand between you and your destination!
    Which path will get you safely across the prairie? With twenty-two possible endings, choose wrong and you'll neve
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I discovered this book series during a recent trip to the bookstore and picked up the first book. I love the original Oregon Trail computer game and also Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. So I hoped this would be a nice double-nostalgia read. I was not disappointed!

The book has a nice narrative and gives you meaningful choices. Yes, you can die of the dreaded dysentery. But there are several endings that are not so morbid. One thing the book does better than the original game is explain
Dane Barrett
While not overly complicated and with only one actual path all the way to Chimney Rock (although there are some good alternative endings for that those enjoy branching paths) the beauty of this book is when it decides to ask you a question related to specific parts of the journey covered by the Oregon Trail guidebook. There is a sense of satisfaction when you have read the guidebook thoroughly, or if you reference it when required, which leads to you successfully making a decision that keeps you ...more
Clare Rossetter
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting and fun book with 2o different endings. You have to make decisions along the way using your best judgement based on information learned in the guide to the trail you read before starting your journey. First time I ended up dead from dysentery. My decisions prior to that seemed to have me on the right path until I made the fateful decision to push on and not let anyone know I was ill.
You can start all over and make different choices and end up with a variety of outcomes including actu
John D DeWeese
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun choose your own adventure story with lots of great historical details for kids. It's also really difficult to survive and get the best ending. My only complaint is that there really isn't a good antagonist. You dodge grizzly bears and bandits and try not to die of dysentery, but otherwise there's no interesting villains. Some of the history is also kind of sanitized but that's probably to be expected for a kid's book. But overall still a good read for children who may not otherwise like hist ...more
Christy Compeau
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my 2nd grader and it was so much fun! It's better than the game due to the detail. And it was so entertaining watching my son try to pick the correct answers so we could get to Chimney Rock. It took us a week of reading the book (and rereading) to get to Chimney Rock. With over 20 different possible outcomes and only one way to get there, we had a great time. We are ready to get back on the trail! ...more
Alex McLean
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I felt as a Xennial, this is something I needed to read with my child. The beginning of the book had me a little apprehensive, as the writing style felt overly simplistic and the first scenario or two a bit dull. As we continued, I found we both enjoyed the book more and more. We went back and tried different scenarios and had a great time reading it! It helped teaching choices and consequences to my kindergartner and overall was just a fun read.
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fun great read relying heavily on nostalgia and references to the game. I was so happy when I died of dysentery! Some of the failures can be gruesome deaths but overall it is told light heartedly.

There is truly only one correct path to make it through the book though I read through every option. I think it would be nice to have more than one way to be successful.

Even without context of the classic computer game I think young readers would enjoy the choose your own adventure.
Adorable nostalgia for the "Oregon Trail" generation, perfectly timed for those of us who grew up playing this game as our first experience with computers and now have kids or nieces and nephews of our own. I picked this up while shopping for other people but couldn't resist reading it myself. Sure enough, I died of dysentery. ...more
Picked this up for pure nostalgia and had a great time going through the story with my siblings as we made our way across the prairie. The book is quite simplistic and juvenile. Some of the options are obviously impulsive decisions which lead to distressing outcomes. While no great work or literature nor the best “you choose” story out there, I did enjoy myself immensely
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Managed to navigate the trail without dying of dysentery! (Which is a pleasant change from when I played this game as a kid.) I read several scenarios, of course, so I did eventually succumb to all sorts of injuries, as well as several positive options that weren't the goal of reaching Chimney Rock. ...more
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The Oregon Trail (8 books)
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