Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Appaloosy Books is the heart and home for author Mattie Richardson’s books. She sent us a physical copy of her newest book Blue Skies West which is the fifth story in the Horses in History series. This series tells parts of U.S. History from the horse’s point of view. Blue Skies West tells the story of life along The Oregon Trail.
Blue is an energetic horse that enjoys exploring with his boy, Charlie. The pair have lived in Iowa farmlands their entire lives but all that is about to change. Both are eager to begin a new adventure and this one will consist of traveling 2,000 miles along The Oregon Trail. Getting started is the easy part and navigating the trail will allow Charlie’s family to see the fabled lands of Oregon, where they will make their own home. This new land brings the promise of excellent farmland, abundant grass, water for livestock, gold, and timber. However, warnings of diseases of cholera, dysentery, and influenza are also very present. The family must also endure dangerous water crossings, livestock stampedes, and even wagon train robbers are also possible during their travels. Will adventure or danger win as Blue and Charlie brave the trip to Oregon?
I read Blue Skies West myself and enjoyed Mattie’s creative take on history through the horse’s eyes. She did a great job including imagery that set the scene for each Territory. I also loved how the chapters were named after the present-day state and that she included a map designed the same way. Additional historical information and a bibliography are also included after the story for further research. The vocabulary and storyline are easy to read and children should not have an issue understanding. She did not shy away from tragedy or danger but was sure to not make those issues the focal point of view.
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