Monday, April 14, 2014

Journey to Nowhere by Mary Jane Auch

Journey to Nowhere is written by Mary Jane Auch is a well-known text in the western New York area. Auch is a local author, from Williamson, New York. This is actually the first book in a trilogy. Last year, my kids got totally into the book, so I read the entire trilogy as a read aloud...not so much this year. They enjoyed the book and learned a lot, but when the first text was over, we were moving on. The way the book is written, it can make sense to stop after one book. For sure.

Anyway, this book is the story of Mem Nye. She is traveling with her family from Connecticut to the Genesee Country in the early 1800s by wagon and oxen, along with her Mama, Papa, and younger brother. Along the way, the family encounters turkey drovers, must ford a river, and meets a few new friends along the way. Once settled in the Genesee Country, making a life there is seemingly impossible for the Nye family.

Now, my favorite chapter, and a favorite for my fourth grade kiddos, is called, "The Chinking is Stinking!" And it really is a riot! It describes the process of creating the stuff that sticks to the walls while building a log cabin...basically cow poop mixed with other items that the kiddos don't care about nearly as much as the poop. When my class visits a living museum later in the year, there is a log cabin from the 1800s to view. Without fail, every year, they all chant, "The chinking is stinking! The chinking is stinking!!!"

Last year, a kid even smelled the wall.

So, this book is an awesome historical fiction text that I adore for read alouds. It's fantabulous. Totally raises some discussions about gender roles, colonial customs, and the hardships of moving and making a life back in the 1800s. This novel study is available on my TeachersPayTeachers account, but there's a link to my Googledocs so you can get it for free!  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment