Teddy’s wonderful adventures brought me immediately back to my own childhood love of reading about pioneer life and my enjoyment of learning about times gone by. Teddy’s tale is told through letters to her dearest friend Martha, written while jostling about in her wagon, or by flickering candlelight after settling in for the night after a long day on the wagon trail. Teddy writes back to Martha about all that she sees and encounters, detailing her trip to Florida with her parents and brother to claim their parcel of land. Of course, just like it would have been in the past, her journey is fraught with adventure, amazement’s, tragedy and ultimately triumph.
I loved that there are illustrations interspersed here and there on the pages, giving us small glimpses of the people she meets and the adventures she takes part in. The glossary of terms at the back of the book was a brilliant addition; there aren’t many children nowadays who would actually know what a Cat’s Eye Shooter was, for example. Kids are able to flip to the back when there is such a term they aren’t familiar with and ultimately discover that the term meant a marble that looked like a cat’s eye.
The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain is a wholesome, fun book for a family to read together, boys and girls alike will love the excitement and discovery as you travel along with Teddy and parents will smile with fond recollection of their youthful reading where rattlesnakes, yellow fever and claim jumpers are the scariest characters to be found.
Reading level: ages 8 and up
Page Count: 214
Publisher: Buttery Moon Multimedia, Inc. (2009)
What to expect: a fun-filled look back into the world of life on a wagon train, with small black and white illustrations scattered throughout the tale.
Publisher’s synopsis: Told through 130 letters to her best friend, Martha, each of which includes memorable characters and original, historically accurate illustrations, The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain is an engaging, adventure-filled novel for the intermediate reader. A classic-in-the-making, Teddy’s story takes her through the ravages of a yellow fever outbreak, to the Ringling Circus, to the backwoods of primitive Florida-hundreds of miles away to the promise of land-down below Lake Okeechobee.
About the Author: Melissa Forney is a nationally known educational and motivational speaker for teachers, administrators, and students. Her seminars, characterized by cutting-edge information and humorous stories, consistently receive the highest evaluations.You can visit her website at www.melissaforney.com.