A Trail of History Leads to Fiction!


Kate Messner is the author of Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail.

Kate Messner is the author of Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail. Ranger is a Golden Retriever living in the 21st century with a four-person family: Luke, Sadie and their mom and dad. Of course, like most dogs, Ranger likes to go running off after squirrels and that is why he can’t pass the official test to become a search and rescue dog. One day Ranger finds a first aid kit that transports him to the year 1860. He has no idea what danger awaits him and the new family he joins in that year.

It’s 1860 and the hot sun beats down in Missouri as Ranger helps Sam Abbott look for his sister Amelia, who seems to have disappeared. Ranger, remembering what would happen during a search and rescue training hunt, picks up Amelia’s scent from her doll and follows it into the town square where they find Amelia. Sam convinces his mom and dad, who are packing to move to Willamette Valley Oregon, to bring Ranger along. Ranger does not know where everyone is going but that is where the bacon is going, so he follows along.

They head off on the Oregon Trail and along the way they encounter buffalo, Indians and Independence Rock, a real landmark in Wyoming that you can see today where pioneers carved their names as they crossed this land. There is adventure in the story when Ranger saves Sam’s Pa from drowning when they cross a river.

 I liked this book and I would recommend it because it was descriptive. The author used lots of adjectives to describe daily life in the late 1800s. For difficulty of reading, I would recommend this book to 3rd and 4th graders but the story is great for everyone! Also, check out Kate Messner’s second book, Ranger in Time: Danger in Ancient Rome.