Hank of Twin Rivers

 Book Two: The Eagle's Nest 

We find Hank three years later. Hank finds a perch at the top of a tall cottonwood tree where he watches as Twin Rivers grows into a trading post. Wagon trains on both the Oregon and the Mormon Trails stop for supplies. Among his many adventures are helping a family of slaves escape from bounty hunters, making friends with a Pawnee boy, tangling with a wild woman, and falling for the preacher's daughter. His conflict with his pa renews when his new stepmother insists that they send him away to an eastern school to further his education. He joins the horse wranglers passing through and learns the hard way how to break a horse. When he comes back to Twin Rivers, he fined Becca gone. 

Book One, 'Journey of Change' takes readers into the dangerous adventures of a pioneer boy on the first step of his journey to adulthood. Hank lives with his over-protective mother and a overly strict  father. who believes that harsh discipline will make his son into a man. When cholera takes his mother, Hank's only comforts are his wisecracking, fiddle-playing Irish uncle; and his pet cow, Clementine. He feels Pa's disappointment in him and  hides in daydreams and book reading. What else can he do? He can't make himself grow taller, and now that the cholera has weakened his leg and he finds himself limping, he feels even more inadequate. 

When Hank’s father decides to find a new home, Hank rebels. Pa’s discipline is quick and painful and Hank has to obey. Crossing sandbur-infested prairies, fording raging rivers, and eating dust while walking behind the slow wagon fill Hank's days. He withstands the unpredictable mid-western weather of hailstorms, dust storms, an early blizzard and flash floods. Stampeding buffalo, murdering claim jumpers, rattlesnakes, and a belligerent goose provide plenty of challenges.

His troubles are lightened when he finds friends along the trail: Rusty, a southern boy from Missouri, Nora, a teasing eight-year-old girl from Wisconsin, and Moses, an escaped slave who makes his living as a trapper. When an itinerant preacher and his large family join them, Hank meets the most important challenge of his life when the preacher’s daughter, Becca comes into his life

  • Note from author, M. C. Arvanitis 
So many boys quit reading for pleasure at the age of 10, the phenomenon has a name — the Fourth-Grade Slump. It has been said that forty per cent of boys are “reluctant readers” in school, but the problem isn’t intelligence. Boys are simply less motivated to read. Give them a look into the exciting and dangerous world of Hank Heaton's Journey on the Oregon Trail. They'll put themselves in Hank's shoes and want to read the series. 


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