This Book Saved My History GCSE Grade

And the title of this post sounds a tad bit drastic! It’s not all like that, rest assured. When I selected to study GCSE History for two years, I knew what I was letting myself in for. History has always been one of my favourite subjects to study. I guess I got the love of History from my mum and what job occupation my mum has and the events and exhibitions that she has been lucky enough to run and visit to. One of the main parts in GCSE History if you wanted to do well was source work. You had to compare a number of sources whilst writing essays and completing projects to see if any of the information was biased or not. At first, it drove me mad until the middle of Year 11 when I had that moment where I knew that I was getting somewhere.

I hope to study History again on my dream course which is a pre-University course in Humanities. However, because of my age, I can’t do the course this year since there would be no funding available for me. So, in 2017, I will be able to do it! And that is what my heart is truly set on. The book that I believed saved my GCSE History grade and burden of source work is the one that I will be talking about in my next paragraph.

It’s called A Small Part Of History written by Peggy Elliott and I was very lucky enough to see this one day in a charity shop while out shopping with my parents and it was the correct period of history that we were studying, right country, right premise. Only managed to cost 95p so it didn’t break the bank!

Our topic of study in Year 11 was known as The American West and one particular part of it that really caught my eye was the Gold Rush. And this is what the book A Small Part Of History is all about. It is in the year of 1846 in the blazing hot summer that the Springer family decide to join one of the wagon trails called the Oregon trail which I did lots of research on for school. On the way, they meet other families who are also on the trail either to pursue this Gold Rush or just want a better lifestyle for them and their loved ones. In the novel, the Springer family experience death, harsh terrain, all weathers, life events that they never thought would happen.

I wrote an essay about the Gold Rush and the various wagon trails and decided that I would reference and compare the book. I mentioned that the book I felt was authentic and gave the correct information with the right amount of detail about what life was like for anyone who embarked on this journey to a better life. Most of the people in my class used various internet websites for their research but I went one step further and used books alongside the internet in my source work. I managed to do very well with that particular written task. And it was all thanks to the various sources plus this novel that I am happy that I did read. If I hadn’t read it, goodness knows what my History grade would be today.

I really recommend it for anyone who reads and loves Historical Fiction and anyone with a particular interest for American History during the 1800s.

Alice ximage


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