I'm Sorry, Almira Ann

I'm Sorry, Almira Ann by Jane Kurtz. Illustrated by Susan Havice. (1999) Reading Level: Ages 9-11. 96 pages. Henry Holt & Company. ISBN: 0805060944.

Discuss the images for the book jackets created for each of the editions of book. Which one do you think is best suited for the book. Explain why. Create another jacket for the book. What do you think the jacket should show?

I'm Sorry, Almira Ann
Moving West Across America
  • Brenner, Barbara. Wagon Wheels., Illustrated by Don Bolognese. Harper, 1978. (An I Can Read Book®). -- This story chronicles the Muldie family's trip from Kentucky to Kansas. The Muldies live in a dugout and meet Osage Indians. They also encounter wolves, panthers, and coyotes.
  • Hooks, William H. Pioneer Cat. Illustrated by Charles Robinson. Random, 988. (A Stepping Stone Book). -- Nine-year-old Kate Purdy is traveling from Missouri to Oregon by wagon train. Kate helps a cuddly cat, Snuggs, stowaway on the wagon train.
  • Sandin, Joan. The Long Way Westward. Harper, 1989. -- Carl Eric and his brother Jonas, newley arrived from Sweden in 1868, are on their way to Anoka, Minnesota.
  • Whelan, Gloria. Next Spring an Oriole. Illustrated by Pamela Johnson. Random, 1987. (A Stepping Stone Book). -- Follows the Mithcell family's trek westward from Virginia to Michigan.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder authored many books about her own family's midwestern trek from state to state, and their life when they finally settled in DeSmet, S.D. While her books do not concentrate so much on the trek as the homesteading her books do show some of the hardships of pioneer life and settling where there are few resouces except those from nature. Wilder's books are available in many forms: her original novels, picture book excepts, and excerpted chapters collected in early chapter books. Any of her titles might be appropriate in a general overall theme of pioneer life and the Westward movement.
Information about the West
  • Freedman, Russell. Children of the Wild West. Clarion, 1983. -- Photographs from a time and place where cameras were scarce. Much information about the westward movement in the United States can be gleaned from both the photos and text. Depicts the mode of dress and the pioneers' meager possessions. Log cabins, sod houses, and schoolrooms can be compared and described. Includes pictures of Native American Indian children.
On to Oregon
  • Moeri, Louise. Save Queen of Sheba. Dutton, 1981. -- A young boy named King David uses his resourcefulness and determineation to save his sister, Queen of Sheba, after they are left as the only survivors following an Indian attack on their Oregon-bound wagon train.
  • Morrow, Honore. On to Oregon. Illustrated by Edward Shenton. Morrow, 1926. Details the epic journey of the Sager children by covered wagon from Missouri to Oregon in 1848.
More Challenging Text for YA Readers
  • Lasky, Kathryn. Beyond the Divide Macmillan, 1983. -- A record of Meribah Simon, in journal form, afrom April 1, 1849, to June 1, 1850. Meribah accompanies her father, who has been shunned by their Amish community, West. Along the way, the two encounter cruel emigrants, the death of friends, selfishness, miserliness, rap, and finally the father's death. But Meribah survives and makes her home in the Northwest.
  • Stewart, George R. The Pioneers Go West. Random, 1954, 1987. -- In 1844, the first covered wagons headed west to California. This book is based on the journal of a seventeen-year-old boy who rode in that caravan from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Sacramento.
General Response Suggestions for Books Suggested
  • Make a map of the route the family/person took westward. On the map mark the places and towns mentioned in the book.
  • Compare and contrast the life during those times with the life you live.
  • Divide a piece of paper down the middle vertically. On the left-hand side of the paper, list some "modern" convenience that you or your family uses everyday in your household -- for example, a clothes dryer or washing machine. In the right-hand column opposite the item in the left column, write how the pioneer famiy would have accomplished the same task as the one performed by the convenience.
  • From the information in the book, detail the time schedule that one of the characters might follow during a typical day. Make a time schedule for yourself.

Reviews Curriculum ConnectionsNotesResources -- Journals from the Oregon Trail
Family Connections to the Oregon Trail