Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels

Book - 1978
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Shortly after the Civil War a black family travels to Kansas to take advantage of the free land offered through the Homestead Act.
Publisher: New York : Harper and Row, c1978.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060206697
Call Number: BRENNER
Characteristics: 64 p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm.
Subjects: Easy reading.
Kansas -- Juvenile fiction.
Frontier and pioneer life -- Juvenile fiction.
Additional Contributors: Bolognese, Don


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Jul 17, 2017

My boys just finished reading "Wagon Wheels," a true story about a black pioneering family that moved from Kentucky to Kansas in 1878 to settle and homestead in the West. The story traces three brave little boys (ages 11, 8, and 3) as they travel westward with their dad after their mother has died. At one point, the boys bravely hunt, fish, and cook for themselves while their dad makes the dangerous journey to scout for new land up ahead by himself. Seeing how capable and self-sufficient children were in those days is a stark contrast to how children live in the modern world.

I really wish I'd had this book when I was a little girl. It would have fit in nicely with the Little House books I loved so dearly. Plus, it is refreshing to see a piece of Black American history that isn't solely focused on the depressing topics of slavery or the civil rights movement. There is a chapter that deals with the Osage Indians, too, a story I so wish I had heard as a child.

If you have children, they might enjoy this little gem of American history.


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