Gr. 4-8. This Dear America book is unusual in that it is based on real people and events in 1873. Bauer's great-grandfather Reverend Rodgers led his family and congregation from England to Minnesota, the jumping-off point for this fictional diary, narrated by Rodgers' oldest daughter, Polly, age 14. The long and unpleasant voyage and the settlers' horror at their barren and inhospitable new land are vividly set down, and it is the latter that forms the backbone of Polly's story. She describes the family's sod house, the ineptness with which the town-bred English attempt to build and farm, and the endless oppressive heat, unendurable cold, and plagues of locusts. No wonder the settlers eventually vote to reject their pastor! Accompanied by photos of the Rodgers family and scenes of the settlement, this is an engrossing look at the hardships faced by many pioneers.
Original title: Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Elizabeth Rodgers, an English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, Minnesota, 1873
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Historical Fiction