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Cover image for The perilous journey of the Donner Party
The perilous journey of the Donner Party
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, ©1999.
Physical Description:
192 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
Journey begins -- Independence and beyond -- Shortcut to danger -- Losing a home and a father -- Rock upon rock, snow upon snow -- Trapped in the depths -- Last taboo -- Rescued at last -- Looking back, looking ahead -- Survivors -- Donner Party legacy.
Uses materials from letters and diaries written by survivors of the Donner Party to relate the experiences of that ill-fated group as they endured horrific circumstances on their way to California in 1846-47. On April 14, 1846, the Donner Party set out from Springfield, Illinois, in search of a better life in the largely unsettled California territory. The trip started well but eventually questionable choices and infighting delayed pioneers' attempt to cross the Sierra Nevada until winter. As the impassable snows closed in and their supplies dwindled to nothing, the group faced an almost hopeless struggle for survival that would push some toward the final taboo of cannibalism. Nearly half the members of the Donner Party were children. This account, filled with selections from the survivors' letters and diaries, focuses on the children's experiences, making it uniquely compelling and accessible to young readers. Index, bibliography, chronology, group rosters, suggestions for further research.
Reading Level:
1020 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.2 6.0 31234.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.7 9 Quiz: 14313 Guided reading level: NR.
Donner Party -- Juvenile literature.

Pioneer children -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature.

Donner Party.

Overland journeys to the Pacific.

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