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Because I’ve been quite homesick and nostalgic lately, and because this bookworm’s kept busy touting prose from authors otherwise unknown to me (save for this one), I decided it was time to give a much deserved shout-out to my talented Great-Aunt; author of a cherished family memoir that would make a terrific addition to any homeschool library.

This novella is not a new release, but is new to our homeschool: A rich living tale of my great-grandparents’ journey westward to Oregon in a rickety Model T, alongside their siblings, in escape of the Nebraska dustbowl during the Great Depression. The story lends a first person vantage to the remarkable gumption, grit, sacrifice, and determination required of such “pilgrims” during a trying period in modern American history.

It’s a terrific accompaniment to traditional US history, ideal for upper elementary or middle-school aged students residing in any corner of the country. We’ve found it a lovely follow-up to our It IS a Small World, Afterall summer unit study of the 50 states and capitols.

Now that Firstborn is old enough to appreciate the history and heritage, she’s devoured Aunt Jean’s retelling. In her words: “The book was written by my Great-Great Aunt about my old relatives living in Nebraska. They did not like it there because the crops would die and they didn’t have any money, so they decided to move to Oregon. I thought the book was awesome! Reading about my relatives was pretty cool! I felt like the book was pretty amazing, their trip to Oregon was sometimes scary! They once encountered a thief but thankfully nothing was stolen. If I ever had a chance I would write a book so that my descendants could read it.”  

pic snapped 11.5 years ago, 71 years after the story

We are fortunate to hail from a relatively young family, with multiple living generations anchoring us steadfast to our past. This precious throwback pic is of infant Firstborn with the centerpiece of the novella, the author’s mother and Firstborn’s late Great-Great Grandmother. Fun fact: Center Sister shares her middle name, and Firstborn’s middle name is the same as the author’s first… ahhhh family ties.

Blog throwback: Happy Veteran’s Day to my man!

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