Trails West

A Frontier Fort on the Oregon Trail

By Scott Steedman

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Step inside a 19th century frontier fort and discover for yourself what life was like for the pioneers of the American West. Dramatic cutaway illustrations provide a vivid insight into the challenges they faced:

  • travel westward with a wagon train of pioneers seeking new land to settle;
  • watch the fort being built in rugged terrain;
  • spend a day with a soldier, see his uniform and his equipment;
  • visit an Indian encampment, and learn how they lived;
  • find out about the traders, carrying basic necessities from fort to fort;
  • discover how skilled trappers worked;
  • witness the coming of the Pony Express, Wells Fargo, and the railroad;
  • learn about the daily life of the pioneers;
  • find out what happened to the forts after the West was "won".

(Amazon review)

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A Multicultural Portrait of the Move West

By Petra Press

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"Press tells the story from the point of view of all the people who lived there, including how and why they came, what kind of communities they built, their courage and their failure. Some of the political and military detail is dry, but the discussion is lively, especially the debunking of myths ("The first Europeans in the American West were neither conquerors nor explorers. They were merely lost"). The impassioned account of the forced removals and relocations of the various Indian nations describes the horrific loss of life, of home, and of cultural identity that made the survivors refugees in their own land. The type is small, but it's broken up with many illustrations and sidebars."
--Booklist

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Bad Guys: True Stories of Legendary Gunslingers, Sidewinders, Fourflushers, Drygulchers, Bushwhackers, Freebooters, and Downright Bad Guys and Gals of the Wild West

By Andrew Glass

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Learn about famous outlaws: Wild Bill Hickok -- Calamity Jane -- Doc Holliday -- Jesse James -- Belle Starr -- Billy the Kid -- Joaquin Murietta -- Black Bart.
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Buffalo Bill

By Nancy Robison

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The life story of the famous hero from his childhood and his teenage years as a Pony Express rider to his days as the showman who kept the legends of the Wild West alive.
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Buffalo Gals: Women of the Old West

By Brandon Marie Miller

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"Seeking religious freedom, economic prosperity, or 'elbow room,' thousands of women emigrated to the American West between the 1830s and the 1890s. They traveled alone or with their families by railroad, wagon train, and even on foot. Miller brings these pioneers' stories to life through quotations from diaries, letters, and vintage travel guides. Equally dramatic are the sepia-toned photographs that appear on nearly every page, the most delightful of which is a picture of two daredevils in long skirts cavorting on a rock formation in Yosemite Valley. While this title covers much of the same information as Judith Alter's Women of the Old West (Watts, 1989), it is livelier and gives more equitable coverage of African American pioneers, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans. Buffalo Gals will appeal to fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and to any student with a hankering for a good read. Yeeeee-ha!"--Rebecca O'Connell, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for School Library Journal

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Children of the Wild West

By Russell Freedman

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Historical photographs show what life was like for pioneer and Indian children growing up in the American West during the late nineteenth century.
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Cowboys of the Wild West

By Russell Freedman

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Describes, in text and illustrations, the duties, clothes, equipment, and day-to-day life of the cowboys who flourished in the west from the 1860's to the 1890's

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Food and Recipes of the Westward Expansion

By George Erdosh

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"Looking closely at the environment, economics, eating habits, and favorite foods of our American forebears teaches us volumes about their world and ours. The 'gravy train' takes on new meaning as kids learn how the pioneers survived the long journey. Video games and television take a back seat as kids learn how to make a prospector's dinner of skillet bread and pork and beans."

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Mustangs and Wild Horses

By Gail B. Stewart

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Introduces the history, development, and physical features of wild horses and mustangs, often descended from those left behind by Western explorers.
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Pioneer Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes

By David C. King

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"Join twelve-year-old Sam Butler and his nine-year-old sister, Liz, on the American frontier in 1843. Discover the hard work, fun, and adventure of their daily lives, and along the way learn how to play games, make toys and crafts, and perform everyday activities just like Liz and Sam. You can make your own homemade soda pop and cook up a batch of johnnycakes. Use clay to create your own pottery and design a string of African trade beads, or learn the Native American art of sandpainting. You can even make your own holiday decorations out of dough or pinecones--if you're not too busy playing tangram, a Chinese puzzle game, or a beanbag target game. Pioneer Days is filled with interesting bits of historical information and fun facts about growing up in days gone by. Discover how different--and how similar--life was for American kids in history."

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