Joshua’s Westward Journal

Book, History, Places

Joshua’s Westward Journal

By: Joan Anderson, George Ancona
Publisher: William Morrow and Company, 1987
Age Level: 9-12
Language: English
ISBN: 0-688-06680


Joshua Carpenter and his family have been traveling for over a month now, heading west to Illinois, or possibly even Iowa. With all their possessions in a crowded Conestoga wagon, they cover mile after mile of the dusty, government-built trail called the National Road. Food is often scarce, and sometimes the water in their barrel reaches frighteningly low levels. But courage, and dreams of affordable land and a better life, spur them on.

Joan Anderson’s dramatic text and George Ancona’s evocative photographs take readers along on this often-wearying journey, to share the Carpenters’ moments of happiness and of sorrow. Although Joshua’s journal is fictional, the story it tells gives a vivid, factual picture of a pioneer family, and offers a better understanding of the spirit of these travelers who opened up America more than a century ago.

Joshua’s Westward Journal was photographed at the Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, and at Connor Prairie Pioneer Settlement, and outdoor living-history museum near Indianapolis, Indiana.