Ooligan Press

Ooligan is a not-for-profit general trade press that publishes books honoring the cultural and natural diversity of the Pacific Northwest.

  • A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845

    Seventeen-year-old Lovisa King comes of age on the Oregon Trail as her family travels from Missouri to the Oregon Territory. Based on the history of a company of real pioneers, A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845 tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The Kings make the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along the Terrible Trail. A Heart for Any Fate will be released in conjunction with Oregon’s 150th birthday. Originally published by the Oregon Historical Society, this new edition will include the history of the real King family and a forward written by Jennifer Armstrong.

    Linda Crew

    Linda Crew is the acclaimed author of Oregon Book Award winner A Heart For Any Fate, a young adult book inspired and based on the King family’s journey on the Oregon Trail. While writing A Heart For Any Fate, Linda and her husband Herb traveled the Oregon Trail and saw the great sites that protagonist Lovisa King and her family journeyed through in 1845.

    A native Oregonian, Linda grew up in the historically rich city of Corvallis. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a BA in Journalism, Linda realized that her passion lay in writing fiction, not fact. Inspired by her love for pioneer stories, Linda delved into the young adult historical fiction genre, anxious to tell our history’s untold stories. Thirty-five years later, she is now the author of eight young adult titles.

    Linda and Herb have three grown children and live on Wake Robin Farm, the same farm they were married on in 1974. When not working on her next novel, Linda can be found in the forest with her pruning saw. You can visit her website to learn more.

    Connect with Linda Crew online.

    For Teachers

    Link to the Ooligan Press Teacher's Guide for A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845
    Download the Teacher’s Guide

    Take your class aboard a covered wagon and head west with Lovisa King in A Heart for Any Fate. Seventeen-year-old Lovisa sets out on the Oregon Trail in 1845 with three generations of her Missouri family in tow. Optimistic and eager, Lovisa is sure her family’s preparation and determination will protect them from the catastrophic hardships endured by previous travelers. But the path is wild, and the King family soon discovers that supplies can be scarce, directions can be misleading, and mistakes can be fatal. Based on actual accounts from historic pioneer trail journals, A Heart for Any Fate will encourage students to reflect on this significant time in American history while drawing parallels with events in their own lives.

    Grades: 6–9

    Topics: Mid-19th Century American History, Oregon Trail, American Pioneers, Understanding Self and Others, Coming of Age, Teamwork and Cooperation, Trust, Overcoming Obstacles, Friendship/Family/Relationships

    Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

    Teacher's Guide for A Heart for Any Fate


    “In the spring of 1845, the King family of Carroll County, Missouri, loaded five covered wagons and set out for Oregon. Historical records tell us the route they chose.” In this richly detailed novel that originally appeared in 2005, Crew creates a riveting, fictional story from the bare facts of an extended family’s grueling journey across the Continental Divide. Illness and death claim some members, and grief and sorrow temper the survivors’ jubilation when they finally reach the promised Eden in Oregon. Seventeen-year-old Lovisa narrates in a wholly believable voice filled with period colloquialisms (including a few derogatory references to Indians). While some readers may be slowed by the wealth of thoroughly researched particulars, others will be fascinated by each scene that vividly evokes a young woman’s daily life on the trail. Readers, along with Lovisa’s family and friends, will recognize love brewing long before she does, and her marriage forms a warm coda to the exhausting journey. A comprehensive foreward and afterword (with photos) complete this accomplished story that will easily find a place in the curriculum. Grades 6-10.

    –Gillian Engberg, Editorial Director of Books for Youth

    Ooligan Press