Minnow and Rose

written by Judy Young

Minnow lives with her family in a native village on the plains. She loves to swim, rightfully earning her nickname. Rose is traveling with her family on the Oregon Trail. It’s tiresome and she wishes something exciting would happen. Then, one day it does! On the banks of a rushing river, the two very different cultures come face to face. But just as a river can divide, it can also bring together and through the seeds of curiosity and caution, appreciation and friendship blossoms.


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ISBN: 978-1-58536-421-3 Category:

Written by Judy Young
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth

Published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2009

Hard Cover, 36 pp.


  • 2012 New York Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List
  • 2011/2012 Missouri Show Me Readers Award Nomination
  • 2010/2011 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Award Nomination
  • 2010/2011 Alabama Camillia Book Award Nomination
  • 2010/2011 Delaware Diamonds Book Award Nomination
  • 2010 Storytelling World Award Winner for Preadolescent Listeners


Booklist“The descriptive, third-person narrative alternates between each girl’s story and incorporates details of everyday life, while the softly rendered, realistic paintings expressively depict the characters and events…this is an appealing, child-centric story of communicating across language and culture and finding friendship despite differences.”

School Library Journal“Beautiful oil paintings showing an Indian village, pioneer travel, and dangerous river crossings lend additional action and understanding to the story. An author’s note provides more information on assistance given by Native Americans to pioneers and the difficulty of river crossings along the Oregon Trail.”

Old Schoolhouse Magazine for Homeschool Families: “Minnow and Rose is set during an important period of our country’s history. Between 1843 and 1869, more than half a million people traveled west on the Oregon Trail. This story of ‘what could’ve been’ will delight readers and give them a little peek into our fascinating American past. Minnow, a Native American girl, and Rose, an American pioneer girl, are from two entirely different cultures and lifestyles. Yet, they are both children. And as this charming tale unfolds, we see what the author so passionately portrays–children are children, no matter what culture they are from. They also have a natural curiosity about the world and people around them–especially other children. Although the historical backdrop of the story is interesting, the book is really about two young girls who learn to communicate without speaking the same language, survive a life-threatening experience, and ultimately form a bond that overcomes all barriers. It’s a simple yet poignant story that will tug at the heartstrings and prove, once again, that true friendship knows no boundaries.”