Friday, August 17, 2018

The Road to Oregon City (The Oregon Trail #4)

The Road to Oregon City. (The Oregon Trail #4) Jesse Wiley. 2018. HMH. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: You are a young settler headed out West by wagon train in the year 1850.

Premise/plot: This is the fourth book in this choose your own adventure series inspired by the classic computer game Oregon Trail. There are either twenty-three or twenty-four possible endings, but only one sees you reach your dream destination of Oregon City. Some endings are more bleak and dismal than others.

My thoughts: I have enjoyed this series. I have. I've read one a day. I've read all the possible endings for each book in the series. I can easily recommend the series as a whole.

The narrator, the "you" is obviously a child within the story. We don't know if the you is a young man or a young woman. But for better or worse the YOU is trusted with some mighty big decisions. Not just within the family--what will your wagon do--but ultimately what the wagon train does. I don't think that is realistic to the real world. (However it is so realistic to a game.)

The endings tend to be bleak and dismal OR unrealistically cheerful. For example, more than once the family decides to settle elsewhere. Ma is always selling FRUIT PIES and QUILTS wherever the family ends up settling. Often they end up settling because a) someone gets injured or sick b) the wagon is in too poor condition to go on c) the author wanted an excuse to end the story early. Pa is good at hunting and building furniture and repairing things. It is not that I want every ending to end in the grave--I don't. But where is Ma getting the fruit? If fruit trees were that readily available along the trail you'd never have endings where you die of scurvy. Where is Ma getting an endless supply of SUGAR and FLOUR? True, they have a cow. But would one cow really forever and ever produce enough milk and butter to start a bakery? Where is Ma getting fabric? Yes, you can make quilts from old clothes, old blankets, flour sacks, etc. But where would new clothes and new blankets come from? Where would your essentials come from to decide if you're out in the middle of nowhere not close to any forts or settlements?  

But overall, I do like the books!

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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