Go West, Young Ash

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Go West, Young Ash
Go West Young Ash cover.png
ISBN: 0439200938
Published: February 2001
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Tracey West
Preceded By: Thundershock in Pummelo Stadium
Succeeded By: Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Detective

Go West, Young Ash by Tracey West is the seventeenth book of the adaptation of the Pokémon anime. This book was published by Scholastic in 2001.

It covers the events from A Tent Situation to Roll On, Pokémon!, excluding the events of The Double Trouble Header.


Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.

This book follows the plots of the anime episodes A Tent Situation, The Rivalry Revival, Don't Touch That 'dile , A Sappy Ending, and Roll On, Pokémon!.


Let the adventure begin! Ash, Pikachu, and friends travel through the deep, dark forest on their way to the Wild West. Along the way, there's a theft, a rescue, and a mystery to solve. And never-before-seen Pokémon to discover. It's the next level of Pokémon action!

A Tent Situation

The book begins with Professor Oak welcoming Ash and his friends back from their journey to the Orange Islands. Tracey, excited to meet the professor at last, begins shaking his hand, asking to show him his reports, but Professor Oak politely asks to do it later, while requesting the GS Ball from Ash, who hands it over.

Just then, a familiar voice calls Ash from behind. Ash knows who it is—Gary Oak, his biggest rival. After a short argument, Ash challenges Gary to a battle.

The Rivalry Revival

Outside, the battle begins. Ash sends out Pikachu, whereas Gary starts off with Eevee. Pikachu starts off with a Quick Attack, which Eevee counters easily with Reflect. In the audience, Tracey comments that Eevee's Reflect managed to keep out all the damage, while usually it only prevented half. Misty comments that Eevee must be strong.

Back in the battle, Pikachu uses its Thunderbolt, only to be met with Eevee's Double Team. Eevee then uses Take Down, which Pikachu avoids with Agility. Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunder, but Pikachu is KO'd by a Skull Bash before it can respond. Gary congratulates Eevee, while Ash promises Pikachu that they'll win next time.

At sundown, Ash is ready for another battle, but Gary is nowhere to be found. Ash questions Professor Oak about his whereabouts, but he is too busy trying to get the GS Ball open. When he does answer, he says that Gary had gone west to compete in the Johto Pokémon League. Excited by this news, Ash decides to go to Johto as well. Brock and Misty decide to go with him, while Tracey wants to stay back and help Professor Oak. The Professor asks them to give the GS Ball to Kurt while they're there, because "If anyone can figure out how to open the GS Ball, he can."

Professor Oak gives Ash a new Pokédex, explaining that there are new Pokémon in the Johto region. Happily, Ash and his friends set off to their first destination—New Bark Town.

Don't Touch That 'dile

Soon, Ash and the group are lost inside thick fog. Ash and Misty have an argument, while Brock complains that they are "Worse than ever".

Suddenly, Pikachu runs off. Surprised, Ash and the gang run after it, All of them stop when they see a mysterious Pokémon inside a bubble. Then the bubble pops, and it runs away. Ash and his friends, stunned by the Pokémon, remember that they are lost. However, the fog lifts, and in front of them, they see their destination—New Bark Town.

Ash rushes into the Pokémon Center to register for the Johto League, but finds out that Nurse Joy, who was supposed to register him, was at Professor Elm's lab. The group runs there.

Upon entrance, they see Officer Jenny. When she notices the group, she tells them that they will have to leave, as she is running an investigation on a stolen Pokémon. Ash offers to help, saying that they had experience with certain Pokémon thieves. Officer Jenny agrees, and walks them into the lab, where Elm and Joy are. Elm says that a starter Pokémon was stolen. He shows them the Johto starters. Chikorita (which another Trainer had taken as his starter), Cyndaquil (which a Trainer was getting tomorrow), and the stolen Pokémon, Totodile.

Right at that moment, a police officer comes in and tells Jenny that they found tracks. Jenny calls out Growlithe to sniff the tracks and find the thieves. Ash tells Pikachu to help it.

Soon, the thieves are found—Jessie, James, and Meowth, otherwise known as Team Rocket! They are busy trying to get Totodile out of Jessie's hair—literally. Then the notice Ash's group, and run. Ash sends out Bulbasaur, who uses Vine Whip to trip Team Rocket. James retaliates by releasing his Weezing, who begins pouring out a Smokescreen. Ash calls on Charizard to flap its wings to clear the smoke. Bulbasaur then uses its Vine Whip to slice off the chunk of Jessie's hair with Totodile on it. Team Rocket begins fighting because Jessie "let it get away" and Meowth "didn't do anything about it. Seeing their chances, Pikachu, Charizard, Totodile, and Bulbasaur attack Team Rocket, sending them blasting off again, with Totodile back in good hands and Ash ready to register for the League.

A Sappy Ending

After Joy registers Ash in the Johto League, he and the rest of the gang set off for the nearest Gym in Violet City.

As they hike, they begin noticing that the trees look drained as opposed to the ones they passed earlier, which were full of life. Brock comments that something must be eating the trees. Pikachu then notices something—a Bug-type Pokémon drinking tree sap, which freaks Misty out. Ash consults his Pokédex, which says that the Pokémon was a Heracross. Ash decides to catch it, and is about to throw a Poké Ball at it, when a man named Woodruff appears and says that capturing the Heracross would upset the peaceful balance of the forest. Ash doesn't think that the Heracross look too peaceful, until a Butterfree lands next to the Heracross, who lets it drink with it.

Misty wonders why the trees are so dry if the forest is balanced. Woodruff replies that another group of Pokémon was invading the forest. Brock asks what kind of Pokémon it is. As if to answer him, Pikachu points at another swarm of Bug Pokémon—Pinsir. After scaring the Butterfree away, the Pinsir begin scaling the trees. Misty calls out to the Heracross to stop them, but Woodruff says that while the Heracross were certainly powerful enough, they were too good-natured to do so. Brock realizes that the reason the trees are dried up is because the Pinsir invade the new trees, Heracross and Butterfree must then drink from trees they already drunk from.

Just then, they notice a Butterfree and Heracross being attacked by three Pinsir. Ash, angry at the three- on two odds, calls on Bulbasaur and Pikachu, who drive away the Pinsir. Woodruff then asks them to go find out why the Pinsir were invading. They arrive at a valley dividing the Heracross forest and the Pinsir forest, and Woodruff remarks that the bridge was cut. However, a Heracross that was following the group breaks down a tree for the gang to walk across. When they arrive at the Pinsir forest, they see a mechanical Pinsir operated by Team Rocket stealing sap from the trees. Pikachu blasts it, but the machine absorbs the blast and uses it to paralyze Ash's gang. Just then, the Heracross that was following them fights and defeats the Pinsir, saving Ash and friends. Ash and his friends decide to keep going, but Heracross decides to go with them, allowing Ash to catch it.

Roll On, Pokémon!

Ash and his friends have to cross a valley to get to Violet City. On their way, however, is a baby Donphan. Ash, excited, wants to catch it, but Brock says that a baby like that must be raised by an experienced breeder like himself. He sends out Onix to fight it, but it is quickly defeated. Ash decides it's his turn and send out Heracross to battle it, but is stopped by a woman named Rochelle, who says that the Donphan is hers. Brock notices her necklace, and Rochelle says that it was made of agate, which her Donphan were trained to find around the valley. She leaves, telling the group not to fight any more Donphan.

They are unaware of Team Rocket listening nearby, thrilled by the thought of agate. They conclude that in order to find the agate, they must capture a Donphan. They swoop down on Rochelle and her baby Donphan and catch it in a net.

The group, hearing Rochelle's distress cries, run back over to help her. Brock tries to use Zubat's Supersonic to track down Team Rocket, but it fails due to the amount of rocks and trees in the way. Rochelle calls upon her Donphan to sniff out the thieves. After locating them, Meowth complains that they were following Donphan all around the valley, and still couldn't find any agate. Rochelle explains that the Donphan is too young to find any agate, and ask for it back. Laughing at the thought of returning a Pokémon, James sends out Victreebel and Jessie sends out Arbok. Brock tries using Onix again, but it is defeated by Victreebel. Misty uses Poliwag and Ash uses Heracross, who then defeat Victreebel and Arbok, respectively. Pikachu zaps Team Rocket, causing them to blast off again.

Rochelle says that, because they rescued her Donphan, that she wished she could repay them. Ash replies by requesting a battle. Ash chooses what appears to be the most experienced Donphan, and battles it with Heracross, holding his own though ultimately being defeated with a Rollout.

Misty asks Ash if he feels disappointed about losing. Ash reflects on his rescuing of Totodile, capturing of Heracross, and battling of Donphan, and replies "Disappointed? No way! I can't wait to see what else is waiting for us out here in the wild west!"

Major events



Pokémon debuts






  • The back of the book states that this is the "second adventure in the brand-new Pokémon Gold and Silver series...", however, it is the first book to take place in Johto, not the second.

Pokémon anime novelizations
Original series: I Choose You!Island of the Giant PokémonAttack of the Prehistoric PokémonNight in the Haunted Tower
Team Rocket Blasts Off!Charizard, Go!Splashdown in Cerulean CityReturn of the Squirtle Squad
Orange Islands: Journey to the Orange IslandsSecret of the Pink PokémonThe Four-Star ChallengeScyther, Heart of a Champion
Race to DangerTalent ShowdownPsyduck Ducks OutThundershock in Pummelo Stadium
The Johto Journeys: Go West, Young AshAsh Ketchum, Pokémon DetectivePrepare for TroubleBattle for the Zephyr Badge
The Chikorita ChallengeAll Fired UpAsh to the RescueSecrets of the GS BallPrize Pokémon
Teaming Up With TotodileTough EnoughWinner Takes All
Advanced Generation: Haunted!Phantom UnmaskedTeam Rocket TruceCelebi RescueGrovyle TroubleDeoxys in Danger
Diamond & Pearl: Pokémon AcademyThe Lost RioluCoal Badge BattleWorld of Sinnoh
Movies: The Art of Pokémon The First MovieThe Art of Pokémon the Movie 2000The Art of Pokémon the Movie 3: Spell of the Unown
Mewtwo Strikes BackMewtwo ReturnsPokémon the Movie 2000Pokémon the Movie 3Pokémon 4Ever
Destiny DeoxysLucario and the Mystery of MewPokémon Ranger and the Temple of the SeaThe Rise of Darkrai
Pikachu's VacationPikachu's Rescue AdventurePikachu and Pichu

  This book article is part of Project Merchandise, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on all Pokémon toys, dolls, books, and collectible merchandise.