Wagons Ho!

Then and Now on the Oregon Trail

Two girls move from Missouri to Oregon—one in 1846 and one in 2011. One trip takes five months and the other five days. One trip is in a covered wagon, the other in a car. But both girls will miss their old homes and worry about the long trip. Both girls stop at well-known landmarks and travel the Rocky Mountains. And as each girl reaches her new home, she finds her new room and her new friends. Wagons Ho! is a unique look at both history and the concerns all kids have when moving to a new home.

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807586136
  • March 2019

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807593400
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • While debut author Hallowell and the prolific Holub effectively intertwine history lessons with personal revelations, Avril handles the dual narratives and contrasting time frames with aplomb, often employing parallel or side-by-side panels so readers can compare the two girls’ great adventures.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • Together, the art and text make a good introduction to the Westward Movement. The format is best suited for individual or small-group reading. Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House’ series (HarperCollins) will appreciate this fictional/factual picture book.

    - School Library Journal

  • Vibrantly enlivening pioneer migration for primary readers, this is a fine addition for both home and classroom.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Cartoon panels help organize the many lively illustrations into two parallel stories, while the first-person narratives convey the girls’ hopes, fears, joys, and laments, along with bits of information and humor.

    - Booklist

  • Parallel layouts of the breezy cartoon-styled jaunt make comparisons easy, and the overlap of the stories at Independence Rock, where the Johnsons inscribe their names and Millers read them, invites the past into the present for a young audience.

    - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • Teachers could use this book as a model for writing/social studies assignments. Young readers will enjoy this book and should gain some insight into the difficulties of pioneer life.

    - Library Media Connection

Awards & Accolades

  • Best Children's Books of the Year 2012, Bank Street College
  • Recommended Read - Kansas State Reading Circle
  • 2011 Reading the West Shortlist, Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association
  • 2011 Book Links Lasting Connection


Lynne Avril

Common Core

RI.2-3.1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 RI.4.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 2.90