Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Apples to Oregon

Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains

Apples to Oregon

What is this book about?

When Papa decides to pull up roots and move from Iowa to Ore­gon, he can’t bear to leave his pre­cious apple trees behind. Or his peach­es, plums, grapes, cher­ries, and pears. Oh, and he takes his fam­i­ly along too. But the trail is cru­el — first there’s a riv­er to cross that’s wider than Texas … and then there are hail­stones as big as plums … and there’s even a drought, sure to crisp the cher­ries. Those poor pip­pins! Luck­i­ly Deli­cious (the noned­i­ble apple of Dad­dy’s eye) is strong — as young ‘uns raised on apples are — and won’t let any­thing stop her father’s dar­ling saps from tast­ing the sweet Ore­gon soil.

Here’s a hilar­i­ous tall tale — from the team that brought you Fan­nie in the Kitchen — that’s loose­ly based on the life of a real fruit­ing pioneer.

Awards and Accolades

  • Gold­en Kite Award for Pic­ture Book Text
  • Spur Award
  • Time of Won­der Children’s Book 2009



“An author’s note explains that this sto­ry is based loose­ly on Hen­der­son Luelling, a pio­neer who real­ly did trans­port plants and fruit trees to Ore­gon in 1847. Hop­kin­son’s ver­sion, of course, is just pure fun and make-believe. Car­pen­ter’s oil paint­ings are filled with vivid shades that reflect the chang­ing scenery. Amus­ing details abound, and the slight­ly exag­ger­at­ed humor of the pic­tures is in per­fect bal­ance with the tone of the text. The plucky heroine—wearing a bright red dress, white pinafore, and con­fi­dent smile—often takes cen­ter stage. An enter­tain­ing choice for sto­ry­times or an amus­ing sup­ple­ment to units on west­ward expan­sion.” (School Library Jour­nal)

“Hop­kin­son’s allit­er­a­tive tall tale is rich in lan­guage that begs to be read out loud (“ ‘Guard the grapes! Pro­tect the peach­es!’ Dad­dy howled”), and Car­pen­ter’s col­or­ful oil paint­ings add to the exag­ger­at­ed fun. ” (Book­list)

Apples to Oregon

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Nan­cy Car­pen­ter
Atheneum Books for Young Read­ers
ages 4 and up, 2004
ISBN 978–0689847691

buy the book