Published by Sourcebooks on September 3rd 2013
Genres: 19th Century, Action & Adventure, Historical, Survival Stories, United States, Westerns, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Danger looms for Caleb and his sisters on every mile of the Oregon Trail.
Caleb O'Toole could hear his mother's last words as clearly as if she was sitting right next to him. He promised her he'd keep his sisters safe. But safety is over a thousand miles away in the rugged Bitteroot Mountains-past dust-choked deserts and thorny tumbleweeds and as sun so hot, it's hard to breathe. Tornadoes and hungry wolves wait for them on the path ahead. But with the infamous Blackstone Gang hot on their trail, Caleb has no choice but to keep going. There's no telling how far the gang will go to keep their latest murder a secret. And Caleb is the number one witness to their crime.Caleb O'Toole can hear his mother's last words: "I need you to be strong." and he can't let her down.
I read this book with my 5th grade students and they were completely sucked into the novel. So much so, that they didn’t balk at having reading for homework, and doing extensive writing about some of the novel’s themes and events. The book also helped reenforce what they’ve learned all school year in history and language arts about the American West, and gave them a context for these historical facts that I previously taught.
Sadly, Eric Pierpoint has no plans to write a sequel to this amazing book. 🙁 Hopefully, one day it’ll be made into a film. One can hope!
Do I Recommend?
YES! This story of three children, their dog, and a wanted man making their way west amid thieves, cholera, and a murderous band of outlaws if as informative to read as it’s fun. There is a bit of violence, reference to drinking and saloons, and other unsavory elements of the Old West, but it’s all in keeping with the story, and isn’t done gratuitously. If you’re looking for a historical fiction novel that’s fast-paced, then The Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole will be right up your alley.