Friday, February 08, 2013

Apples to Oregon

Hopkinson, Deborah; ill. by Nancy Carpenter. Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (And Children) Across the Plains. New York: Atheneum, 2004.

This well-illustrated story of a girl named Delicious whose family travels from Iowa to Oregon taking along their beloved fruit trees. While the story does mention some of the hardships faced on the trail such as river crossings and mountains, the main focus of the book is on getting the trees across rather than the family. I think my greatest problem with the book is that the father seemingly placed a greater importance on his beloved fruit trees than upon his own family. This would be a good read for a young reader whose ancestors traveled the Oregon Trail, but I'd want to tell the child that his own family cared about the fate of the children making the venture than upon the possessions. The story itself is based in part upon a family that did take trees from their former home to Oregon.

This is part of the Friday series on children's literature and genealogy.


Betty Taylor said...

Is the importance of getting the trees there based upon the fact that he needed to trees to support hid family? I haven't read the book, just hoping maybe he just didn't know how to show his love any other way


Lori Thornton said...

Betty, The father was just fairly obsessed with the trees and did not want to leave them behind. It is based on the story of Henderson Luelling who really did take 700 fruit trees to Oregon in 1847.