Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Avoid Joining A Wild West Wagon Train - The Danger Zone by Jacqueline Morley
This is an ideal text for shared and guided reading for Key Stage 2 pupils within the framework of the National Literacy Strategy. It is set in the 1840s and casts the reader as a farmer setting out on the journey of a lifetime seeking the fertile farmlands of Oregon. Travelling overland as part of a wagon train from the east coast of America to Oregon on the west coast, you face dangers including high mountains, lack of food and water and the prospect of catching various diseases. The cartoon-style illustrations and the narrative approach encourage readers to get emotionally involved with the characters and to follow the story right across North America. Will the wagon train succeed in reaching its goal? The book includes handy hints and informative captions to keep you alive on this dangerous journey!
In this book, the reader is required to take on the persona of a farmer, living on the eastern coast of North America, who wants to cross the continent to find out what the rest of the land is like.
The book starts before the journey begins and explains why a farmer would feel the need to partake in such a trip. It talks about how a farmer would be feeling, what would be needed for the trip and the lack of knowledge these people had before undertaking the trip.
Although the book is written as a story, there is a lot of history and fact included within the story. This is very clever because while the children are enjoying reading or listening to the story, they are learning too. There are handy hints on each double page, adding extra little details to the story, facts that may not be included in conventional history texts.
I think these are great additions to a school classroom or library or for children who love history. They are jam packed with great history info but also look at the subject from many different viewpoints: how people may be feeling; how it affects the community (people and animals) and other people who may be involved.
Thank you to Salariya Books, I won this book as part of a competition prize.