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Children on the Oregon Trail

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A story based on the remarkable journey made by the Sager children through the north-west of America in the pioneering days of 1844. John Sager is 13 when his family leave Mississippi for the Far West. When tragedy strikes and John's parents die, he is left to look after his six younger siblings. A story based on the remarkable journey made by the Sager children through the north-west of America in the pioneering days of 1844. John Sager is 13 when his family leave Mississippi for the Far West. When tragedy strikes and John's parents die, he is left to look after his six younger siblings.


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A story based on the remarkable journey made by the Sager children through the north-west of America in the pioneering days of 1844. John Sager is 13 when his family leave Mississippi for the Far West. When tragedy strikes and John's parents die, he is left to look after his six younger siblings. A story based on the remarkable journey made by the Sager children through the north-west of America in the pioneering days of 1844. John Sager is 13 when his family leave Mississippi for the Far West. When tragedy strikes and John's parents die, he is left to look after his six younger siblings.

59 review for Children on the Oregon Trail

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josiah Roberts

    Children on the Oregon Trail by Anna Rutgers Van Der Loeff is a very moving and interesting novel based on factual events that occurred during the 1840's in the United States of America. It captures the spirit of courage and determination among the pioneers and their families as they journey through challenging times. The novel is about a pioneering family who are making the huge journey from Mississippi to the Columbia Valley in the Far West. The Sager family consisting of Father and Mother Sage Children on the Oregon Trail by Anna Rutgers Van Der Loeff is a very moving and interesting novel based on factual events that occurred during the 1840's in the United States of America. It captures the spirit of courage and determination among the pioneers and their families as they journey through challenging times. The novel is about a pioneering family who are making the huge journey from Mississippi to the Columbia Valley in the Far West. The Sager family consisting of Father and Mother Sager and their seven children as they set set out in convoy with many other families to to reach the seeming utopia of Oregon. During the early stages of the journey, both Father and Mother Sager fall very ill and after giving birth to their seventh child they both pass away; leaving the seven children as orphans. They have to decide to either follow the convoy to their new destination of California or to continue on to Oregon alone in hopes of completing their father's dream of owning a farm in the beautiful Columbia Valley and having new born baby Indepentia baptised in Oregon. The children decide to follow their fathers dream, so they sneak away from the convoy and start on the great trek to Oregon. The journey is dangerous and the children encounter many life threatening situations, eldest son John, at the age of thirteen is thrust into the position of 'fill-in father' and manages to always protect the children from danger as they slowly and gloomily make their way through the unavoidable dangers of the American wilderness. The author Anna Rutgers Van Der Loeff uses a very descriptive style of writing, she uses adverbs, adjectives and figurative language to paint a picture and engage the reader into the brilliant novel. She also puts across some very important issues in the novel such as bravery and determination. They are two very important issues of the novel that we also need in our own life. The children face many problems and adversaries along the way in which the author portrays how important it is to be brave and stay determined. If the children (especially John the eldest child) were not brave and did not stay determined, they would never have survived for even a few weeks amongst the harsh and dangerous terrain. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Children on the Oregon Trail by Anna Rutgers Van Der Loeff as it was so interesting and moving, it amazes me that it is based on factual events. I would recommend this novel to just about anyone however twelve years and over would be the best age group to suit this spectacular book, because of that I would rate it 9/10.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lieke

    This was one of those books that I read many times when I was a child, fleeing deeply all of the children. It has been some time since I have read it last, but I remember it as an amazing book with very real characters. It was based upon a true story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chantal

    This is such an amazing book. A story with lots of adventure in it. Great character building throughout the book. A story to remember were sometimes sad things happen. Glad I got the chance to read it! This is such an amazing book. A story with lots of adventure in it. Great character building throughout the book. A story to remember were sometimes sad things happen. Glad I got the chance to read it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janith Pathirage

    First I thought this wold be like Francis Parkman's "The Oregon Trail" (which was an amazing story), but this one was nowhere near it despite both stories took place pretty much around the same area. There're few lose ends in this book First, its hard believe a bunch of kids could survive in such harsh conditions no matter how good they are. This is a very hostile country even for adults and even their baby sister survived in the end. Pretty corny .. Second, Native Americans are not always thieves First I thought this wold be like Francis Parkman's "The Oregon Trail" (which was an amazing story), but this one was nowhere near it despite both stories took place pretty much around the same area. There're few lose ends in this book First, its hard believe a bunch of kids could survive in such harsh conditions no matter how good they are. This is a very hostile country even for adults and even their baby sister survived in the end. Pretty corny .. Second, Native Americans are not always thieves and bandits like the author of this book says. True , there were few badass tribes back in the days , but mostly Red Indians were a peaceful nation. They were/are greater than white Americans could ever be. Yet another book which shows the mentality of white people towards Native Americans those days. Just like the famous children's classic, "On the Banks of Plum Creek". Third, a dog can never kill a grizzly bear. Hence my final verdict is , this is yet another overrated, unrealistic classic. There are much better old Western novels out there, could be hidden gems so one might have to look for them under the rocks. If you've read "The Oregon Trail", then you know what Im talking about.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    It seemed obvious to me that this book, on the list of 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read, was a book I should take along on my trip to Oregon. But the mail can be stubbornly slow at times. This was one of those times. The book didn’t arrive until I returned from Oregon. Glad it did. I don’t think I could stand to be driving around in the air conditioned comfort of a rental car, stopping to eat at four-star restaurants, and staying in luxurious hotels while reading this book, a story based on tru It seemed obvious to me that this book, on the list of 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read, was a book I should take along on my trip to Oregon. But the mail can be stubbornly slow at times. This was one of those times. The book didn’t arrive until I returned from Oregon. Glad it did. I don’t think I could stand to be driving around in the air conditioned comfort of a rental car, stopping to eat at four-star restaurants, and staying in luxurious hotels while reading this book, a story based on true events, a story that takes place in the same setting, with a family who travel the same path, but with parents who die on the trail of fever, and with the seven children, one of whom is a newborn baby, who travel on alone after their parents’ deaths, on foot, through rain and snow, shooting animals for food, searching for clean water, fighting off bears. Whew. Makes Wild, a book that is partially set in the same location, seem like a day in the park.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I didn't think I was going to like this book at first, it didn't really grab me, but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. It is the story of the Sager children, who set off with their parents from Missouri in a covered wagon along the newly (and I mean NEWLY) blazed Oregon Trail. Tragedy strikes and the children, led by 14 y/o John, decide to keep going. You've got to admire them for even trying, and marvel at their success through hardships we today cannot even fathom. It is based on a true stor I didn't think I was going to like this book at first, it didn't really grab me, but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. It is the story of the Sager children, who set off with their parents from Missouri in a covered wagon along the newly (and I mean NEWLY) blazed Oregon Trail. Tragedy strikes and the children, led by 14 y/o John, decide to keep going. You've got to admire them for even trying, and marvel at their success through hardships we today cannot even fathom. It is based on a true story. A good read for adults though it is aimed at juveniles, especially those interested in pioneer history.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mathilde

    This is such an amazing book. I've read it three times already, and it still surprises me somehow. I love how they perspective changes at times, so that you can see how other people felt about them as well. Most wonderful of all is the part where you begin to think of how this all really happened. It really gets to you. This is such an amazing book. I've read it three times already, and it still surprises me somehow. I love how they perspective changes at times, so that you can see how other people felt about them as well. Most wonderful of all is the part where you begin to think of how this all really happened. It really gets to you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    I read this as a kid in primary school, I think I was eight or nine. My teacher forced me to keep reading it, even though I didn't want to because it was so gruesome and so many horrible things happened.. But I'm glad I kept reading. It was worth it. I read this as a kid in primary school, I think I was eight or nine. My teacher forced me to keep reading it, even though I didn't want to because it was so gruesome and so many horrible things happened.. But I'm glad I kept reading. It was worth it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mymymble

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This inspired one of the earliest role play computer games which I loved. The book was good too. Don't read the Wikipedia entry if you want to keep your HEA. This inspired one of the earliest role play computer games which I loved. The book was good too. Don't read the Wikipedia entry if you want to keep your HEA.

  10. 4 out of 5

    TreforL

    This was an interesting book to read after Little House on the Prairie. They have themes in common, even though the true life story this was based on happened over twenty years earlier, in the 1840s. Whereas Little House is an attempt at settlement, Trail is essentially the story of an epic journey. The eponymous children fulfilled their father's dream of settling in Oregon, then a space contested by British trappers, settlers from the United States and Native Americans. When both their parents This was an interesting book to read after Little House on the Prairie. They have themes in common, even though the true life story this was based on happened over twenty years earlier, in the 1840s. Whereas Little House is an attempt at settlement, Trail is essentially the story of an epic journey. The eponymous children fulfilled their father's dream of settling in Oregon, then a space contested by British trappers, settlers from the United States and Native Americans. When both their parents die, the eldest boy leads the others in a trek of hundreds of miles across inhospitable terrain. It's a grim, gruelling yet compelling story of basic survival against the odds. I'm surprised it was a successful children's book as there really isn't any light relief. Imagine sitting down with a ten-year-old to watch the Leonardo Di Caprio film The Revenant and you'll have some idea how inappropriately harrowing this story is. When his little sisters are unable to walk any further, John thrashes them. The racism towards Native Americans is also harsher in Trail, despite it being published 19 years after Little House. Laura Ingalls Wilder at least had an enquiring and ambivalent attitude to the people who were slowly but surely being driven off their ancestral land. I was so glad to get to the end of this book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Martine Elhorst

    Vond de start erg lastig. Duurde lang voor ik er in zat, maar toen in 1 ruk uitgelezen.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    After watching a recent programme about the Oregon trail I remembered reading this book when I was teenager. I was interested to see how it stood the test of time. It was still an interesting read especially as it was based on fact. There were a few moments that jarred. I don't think that you would get away with derogatory comments about Indians in the 21st century. They are variously called, languid, lazy and untrustworthy. They are seen as little more than savage children. At one point the aut After watching a recent programme about the Oregon trail I remembered reading this book when I was teenager. I was interested to see how it stood the test of time. It was still an interesting read especially as it was based on fact. There were a few moments that jarred. I don't think that you would get away with derogatory comments about Indians in the 21st century. They are variously called, languid, lazy and untrustworthy. They are seen as little more than savage children. At one point the author comments that a certain piece of land that the Sager children cross would vanish into a town car park in the next century. It was an intrusion that wasn't necessary. The descriptions of the journey, however, we're vivid and real. The character of the young John Sager is well realised as well. After all these years it is still a captivating story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book had a good story and some really nice characters, and I wasn't sure whether to give 2 or 3 stars. However, this book also had casual racism towards Native Americans and "men as leaders" -attitude that I found annoying, even if I know it was very typical in 1800's. Since this book however isn't an accurate historical novel, I would personally have appreciated if Luise had been the second leader instead of Francis - she was older after all. Also, considering the current situation, US ide This book had a good story and some really nice characters, and I wasn't sure whether to give 2 or 3 stars. However, this book also had casual racism towards Native Americans and "men as leaders" -attitude that I found annoying, even if I know it was very typical in 1800's. Since this book however isn't an accurate historical novel, I would personally have appreciated if Luise had been the second leader instead of Francis - she was older after all. Also, considering the current situation, US idealism tends to leave me sceptical.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    I read this back in 1968 as a 4th grader in Washington state. It was titled "Oregon At Last" at the time, and it was a very popular book at my grade school, especially among the 4th graders as we were studying Washington history. I don't remember much about it except that it centered on a motherless and fatherless family who were traveling to Oregon in the mid 1800s on the Oregon Trail. Of course, along the way they encounter lots of adventure and suspense. I read this back in 1968 as a 4th grader in Washington state. It was titled "Oregon At Last" at the time, and it was a very popular book at my grade school, especially among the 4th graders as we were studying Washington history. I don't remember much about it except that it centered on a motherless and fatherless family who were traveling to Oregon in the mid 1800s on the Oregon Trail. Of course, along the way they encounter lots of adventure and suspense.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marineke

    An Rutgers van der Loeff baseerde haar verhaal op een krantenartikel, maar inmiddels is gebleken dat de kern van het verhaal niet klopt. In werkelijkheid zijn de zeven weeskinderen Sager altijd begeleid door een groep volwassenen en bij de volgende druk wordt het predikaat 'waargebeurd' verwijderd. Desalniettemin blijft het een fantastisch boek dat zeer levensecht geschreven is. An Rutgers van der Loeff baseerde haar verhaal op een krantenartikel, maar inmiddels is gebleken dat de kern van het verhaal niet klopt. In werkelijkheid zijn de zeven weeskinderen Sager altijd begeleid door een groep volwassenen en bij de volgende druk wordt het predikaat 'waargebeurd' verwijderd. Desalniettemin blijft het een fantastisch boek dat zeer levensecht geschreven is.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Weer een pareltje van vroeger. Een prachtig verhaal over een familie waarbij de ouders omkomen tijdens de trek naar het "wilde" westen in Amerika. Daardoor zijn de kinderen op elkaar aangewezen. Vooral de oudste kinderen worden snel volwassen en moeten al veel verantwoordelijkheden en zorgen dragen. Schitterend avonturenboek. Weer een pareltje van vroeger. Een prachtig verhaal over een familie waarbij de ouders omkomen tijdens de trek naar het "wilde" westen in Amerika. Daardoor zijn de kinderen op elkaar aangewezen. Vooral de oudste kinderen worden snel volwassen en moeten al veel verantwoordelijkheden en zorgen dragen. Schitterend avonturenboek.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter Burton

    An easy read suitable for children over 10 but worth it to make you realise how easy life is today.It’s best to google Wikipedia to read the true story.Why change facts that are in themselves still exciting?I enjoyed revisiting the conditions I read about when I was young but find it hard to believe they survived on their own travelling west which in fact they did not.Still worth a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    Sheesh I forgot how racist and sexist it is! A lot can be excused by the attitudes of the 1840s, but the author's writing in the late 1940s and she should have better empathy. Anyway, still a remarkable story. (just spotted the original title - de Kinderkaravan! that alliteration! so much catchier than the English!) Sheesh I forgot how racist and sexist it is! A lot can be excused by the attitudes of the 1840s, but the author's writing in the late 1940s and she should have better empathy. Anyway, still a remarkable story. (just spotted the original title - de Kinderkaravan! that alliteration! so much catchier than the English!)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    My favourite childhood book! It was also my grandmother's favourite book, when she was young, so she recommended the novel to me. I read it when I was approximately twelve years old en I still love the story! My favourite childhood book! It was also my grandmother's favourite book, when she was young, so she recommended the novel to me. I read it when I was approximately twelve years old en I still love the story!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I didn't care for this book. It was rather lame, and kind of hobbled along page to page until it collapsed at the end. That said, I know that other people have really enjoyed it! It probably is more of interest to young people, maybe ages 8 to 12. I didn't care for this book. It was rather lame, and kind of hobbled along page to page until it collapsed at the end. That said, I know that other people have really enjoyed it! It probably is more of interest to young people, maybe ages 8 to 12.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    Having read this book and loved it when I was young, I really wanted to read it again. I didn't love it as much anymore. In fact, it was hard to get through and even though I read it several times when young, this time I didn't even get half way before finally giving up. Having read this book and loved it when I was young, I really wanted to read it again. I didn't love it as much anymore. In fact, it was hard to get through and even though I read it several times when young, this time I didn't even get half way before finally giving up.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lucian Stănescu

    Interessant, gerne gelesen. Ging auch schnell, vielleicht zu schnell, 2 Tage.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amerdale

    Meine Rezension: https://amerdale.wordpress.com/2014/0... Meine Rezension: https://amerdale.wordpress.com/2014/0...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    An interesting story but rather poorly written.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    De kinderkaravan, ik ben zó blij dat ik het gelezen heb! zo'n fantastische boek, en het maakt het nog ongelofelijker omdat het waargebeurd is. Alle credits voor de auteur! De kinderkaravan, ik ben zó blij dat ik het gelezen heb! zo'n fantastische boek, en het maakt het nog ongelofelijker omdat het waargebeurd is. Alle credits voor de auteur!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Price

    A favourite childhood book and remains so.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

    Such an inspiring story!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alice F

    Love it - amazing book. Great description and story-line. Really makes you think about what the pioneer people went through to get to new land.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Raheel

    My childhood favorite.Still regard it as my first real experience of powerful litreature.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  31. 4 out of 5

    Stormy

  32. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  33. 5 out of 5

    Mats

  34. 5 out of 5

    Ervin Vukaj

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kay

  36. 4 out of 5

    W

  37. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  38. 5 out of 5

    Adorée

  39. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey F.

  41. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  42. 5 out of 5

    Shyyz

  43. 4 out of 5

    Analise Whitefield

  44. 4 out of 5

    Dalida

  45. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Mcq

  46. 5 out of 5

    Kassy

  47. 4 out of 5

    Rosanna

  48. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

  49. 5 out of 5

    Jude Brigley

  50. 5 out of 5

    Coralie

  51. 4 out of 5

    Bizzy Day

  52. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Hopkins

  53. 5 out of 5

    MelbourneSharonB

  54. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  55. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  56. 4 out of 5

    Mary Chambers

  57. 5 out of 5

    Kate Farrell

  58. 5 out of 5

    Alom Shaha

  59. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

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