“Oregon Trail”2019-10-07T15:17:03-07:00


Winner of Purple Dragonfly Book Award

Endorsed by:
(OCTA) Oregon-California Trails Association
The End of The Trail Interpretive Center


The Westward Migration along the Oregon Trail during the 19th century is one of the most important events in American history. of the estimated 500,000 people who made the trek from Missouri to Oregon, about 40,000 were children. 

Who better to narrate the story of the Oregon Trail than the arrogant but lovable and humorous ox pulling the covered wagon from Missouri to Oregon?

Ollie Ox, and his yoke mate, Herb, describe quite an adventure as they cross vast expanses of rugged, inhospitable wilderness and treacherous, rushing rivers in extreme weather and constantly changing conditions.

Ollie Ox narrates the story in a manner emphasizing responsibility, loyalty, tenacity, and commitment. And he accomplishes all of this while making the reader smile. Quite a feat for a 2000 pound ox!

Every page has a beautiful color illustration, photograph, or painting to bring the Oregon Trail and the beauty of the American West to life.

AND — kids can email any comments or questions about the Oregon Trail directly to Ollie Ox at:  Ollie answers all his emails.

For children ages 6 to 12 (64 pages)
Format: eBook
Price: $4.99
ISBN:  978-0-9674491-2-8

Format: Paperback
Price: $12.95
ISBN:  978-0-5784227-4-9

Format: Hard Cover
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-0-5784314-6-8


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Customer Reviews

“I love this book! Authors seem to feel they need to sacrifice historical accuracy to get a good story or sacrifice a good story for the facts. This book does a great job keeping both intact and fun.”

— PaulaThacker, Historic Interpreter at the End of the Trail Center in Oregon City

Great children's chapter book for a unit study about the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail is a very important portion of history in the founding of the West. Books like West to Oregon with Ollie Ox allow kids to experience the trail firsthand, through the eyes of a friendly ox, in order to learn more about it. West to Oregon with Ollie Ox by Melanie Richardson is a children's chapter book that is educational and entertaining! Ollie Ox is the main character of this book which allows readers to identify with just how difficult the Oregon Trail trek must have been. Although Ollie is an animal that was used on the trail for transporting, in this book Ollie Ox also has human emotions (excited about the trip, tired and scared). Ollie doesn't interact with his family by speaking, but does share the family's trials. This book would be great as a reader to assign to a child and also as a read-aloud for families to enjoy together. The book would be best suited for late elementary aged children as a few of the hardships of the Oregon Trail are detailed, which might be strong for a young child. West to...

— Lavish Bookshelf Review

"This is a fabulous book for use in the classroom. I downloaded it to my laptop and then projected it on the screen at the front of the room. The kids enjoyed the pictures, of course, and in this format the text can easily be used for the gamut of Whole Group reading activities such as Modeled reading and Shared reading. The Oregon Trail is a fascinating unit for elementary and middle school study, and Ollie's Great Adventure makes a great anchor text. Here are a few of the uses for which I have found it to be well-suited: It provides opportunities to build vocabulary, background, and content-area knowledge. It exposes students to a genre that most (of mine, anyway) are unfamiliar with. The text is easily scaffolded for struggling readers. It allows me to model fluent and phrased oral reading. I recommend the book as a basis for any elementary and early middle school unit on the Oregon Trail.

— Matthew W.

Super Book!!! Loved Ollie from the very start. He is very sweet, kind, loves his family and even when things got tough he kept on going. This story begins in Hannibal, Missouri when Ollie's family, Mr. & Mrs. Tyler; their son Johnny and his dog Max head for Oregon. You will love the pictures throughout the book. This book will be enjoyed by all ages but it is also a good book to use for the beginner readers. It is full history and the trials of what it was like for those traveling. It shows how hard sometimes it is to leave things you love behind to make it to the goal. I recommend it to everyone!!!

— Orilla M. Crider

Back in the early days of our country when the Native Americans were not yet feared we learned that in each tribe was a very special and revered person called "The Storyteller." It was the duty of this person to captivate the tribe members, and specifically the children, to teach them the most important attributes of the wisdom of the tribal masters. They were charismatic and charming, but more, they were filled with wisdom they were able to impart in a manner that was so entertaining one lost the notion that they were learning and never forgot the story because it was so entertaining. It has been my pleasure to meet a real, live Storyteller. Kudos to you and to Ollie and to the person who made Ollie spring to life! A humbling experience my friend!

— Alexa Keating

The story of the Oregon Trail comes to alive! This should be a must read for any child or young adult. The story of the Oregon Trail comes alive in photos, with the obvious attention to detail in her research and with the adorable characters who tell the story. Strongly recommend!

— Aggie Adams

    Having taught History for 35 years, it is good to see quality materials for students.  

— Sandy Arroyo

This follows along the Oregon Trail with a family. It has nice pictures of landmarks along the trail. Nice addition to study

— Pat Gagnon