Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840

by Barbara Greenwood

Other authorsHeather Collins (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1995



Local notes

973.2 Gre





Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1995), 240 pages


Tells the story of what life was like for the Robertsons, a pioneer family living on a backwoods farm in 1840.



Original language


Physical description

240 p.; 8.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Ack. I read a lot of this, but not enough to count it as read. I learned a lot from it, and recommend it, but didn't particularly enjoy it. It would be a great companion to the books about Laura Ingalls Wilder and those about her ancestors. For a better review I'll just refer you to the others. I
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read the Americanized edition.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Author Barabara Greenwood and illustrator Heather Collins bring to life the world of the Robertsons, a Scottish-Canadian pioneer family living in the backwoods in the 1840s, in this engaging book, which blends historical fiction and historical fact. The fictional narrative is mostly from middle
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daughter Sarah's perspective, although a few chapters contain adventures had by middle son Willy. Subjects explored include the coming of spring, and the maple-sugaring season; the experience of going to a backwoods school; and the celebration of special holidays such as Christmas and Hogmanay (Scottish New Year's). The majority of the book however, is devoted to the hard work that the Robertsons and other pioneers like them had to do, in raising crops, tending animals, and providing a home and food for themselves. The end-goal toward which they work - the creation of a new and far superior house - is a high point in the narrative. Each fictional chapter is followed by a non-fiction exploration of the themes discussed therein, as well as some craft ideas that the young reader can try out, to get a better understanding of the matter...

First published in Canada as A Pioneer Story: The Daily Life of a Canadian Family in 1840, and then in the USA as A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840, this is the first of three books about the Robertsons, with subsequent titles including A Pioneer Thanksgiving: A Story of Harvest Celebrations in 1841 and A Pioneer Christmas: Celebrating in the Backwoods in 1841. Despite the fact that it is the first title, I read this one last, after the other two, and was surprised to discover how much longer and more in-depth it was, than those other two books. There's a wealth of story and activity ideas here, making it a wonderful resource for students studying this period of Canadian history. The realities of life documented here were the same in the states, so it could also work in a unit on American history devoted to pioneers. Although I had no interest in trying out any of the craft or activity ideas, I appreciated their inclusion, and would imagine that this really increases the value of the book, for child readers and for those (whether teachers or home-schooling parents) working with them. The accompanying artwork by Heather Collins, which looks to be done in pencil, is quite lovely, and ably captures each scene or idea. All in all, a solidly engaging, entertaining, and educational book, one I would recommend to young readers interested in the history of North American pioneers, and what life was like for everyday people in other periods of history.
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½ (16 ratings; 3.6)
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