Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (And Children) Across the Plains

Deborah Hopkinson
Synopsis Papa is moving his frontier family of a wife and eight children from Iowa to Oregon, but his primary concern is his other rolling nursery, the hundreds of various fruit saplings and seedlings he's packed into a pair of boxes loaded with "good, wormy dirt." His daughter Delicious ("Oh, and by the way, he took us along, too") narrates their comical battles with hailstorms, rivers "wider than Texas, thicker than Momma's muskrat stew," freezes, and droughts, and she's usually the one who figures out how to cope with each challenge, saving her family as well as her father's other precious cargo. The dialogue is often bouncily alliterative: "'Guard the grapes! Protect the peaches!' Daddy howled." This tall tale is very loosely based on the life of Henderson Luelling, the founder of the first plant nursery in Oregon in 1847--although the boisterous family is fictitious. Endpaper maps display their route across the country. The full-color oil paintings are appropriately lively and humorous.

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