Book Impression: Rescue on the Oregon Trail

Book Impression is an opportunity to share my reading experience.
For a more detailed explanation, please visit this post.

Rescue on the Oregon Trail (Ranger in Time Series #1)
by Kate Messner
Published by Scholastic Press
Copyright 2015

I LOVED this book!

While the target audience is sightly younger than Middle Grade, the story is  still compelling enough for this adult reader. Of course, it helps the protagonist is a lovable golden retriever who happens to travel through time.

While Ranger is obviously bright and well-trained, he is prone to distraction, especially squirrels. Ranger often reminded me of my own lovable lab, Jude, in this regard, but also in the way he shows love and compassion to those in need. Ranger is a delightful hero who quickly becomes the reader’s best friend.

The story is told from Ranger’s point of view, and in my opinion, the author nailed the voice – as well as his evolved sense of smell. It is interesting to experience the historical past from a dog’s perspective.

From a writer’s point of view, I recognize the depth of research the author conducted for this book. I learned much about this time period without feeling as though I was reading a textbook. There is enough backstory for context, but the focus is on the heroic quest. The author references several points of interest close to my home, which contributes to the intimate feeling of the story.

The second book, Danger in Ancient Rome, was released last month. I’m not sure how many books are planned for this series, but I look forward to reading each of Ranger’s adventure across time.

This is my first time to participate in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, but if you are interested in reading other MG books, please visit Shannon Messenger’s blog for a complete list of this week’s reviews.

I am always on the lookout for other MG historical fiction novels. If you have a favorite you think I would enjoy, please feel free to leave the title in the comment section.


  • Molly Totoro

    Thank you for the recommendation, Greg. I have added Spy Catchers to the list 🙂

    I have enjoyed your MG book reviews for quite some time. Thank you for taking time to visit my site.

  • Ms. Yingling

    I love historical fiction even though it is a tough sell at my school. The Ranger in Time title works for reluctant or struggling middle school students as well; I'm looking forward to having the Ancient Rome one to check out. One title I enjoyed was Tubb's Selling Hope, which was set in 1910 on the Vaudeville circuit, so was quite unusual. Just read Cheaney's upcoming I Don't Know How the Story Ends and was reminded of it. Welcome to Middle Grade Monday!

  • Rosi

    Thanks for this review and welcome to MMGM. I just read a book called The Girl in the Torch which is a very good historical for middle grade. I'll be reviewing it soon. You will see lots of historical middle grade books on MMGM.

  • Jenni Enzor

    I've really enjoyed some of Messner's other work and I just won the second book in the Ranger series, so I'm excited to read it, especially after reading your review. One of my favorite historicals that I read recently is Stella by Starlight (Sharon Draper).

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