Trails West

Scott Steedman

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)

Petra Press

"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."

Andrew Glass
Learn about famous outlaws: Wild Bill Hickok -- Calamity Jane -- Doc Holliday -- Jesse James -- Belle Starr -- Billy the Kid -- Joaquin Murietta -- Black Bart.
Nancy Robison
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.
Brandon Marie Miller

"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

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

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

George Erdosh

"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."

Gail B. Stewart
Introduces the history, development, and physical features of wild horses and mustangs, often descended from those left behind by Western explorers.
David C. King

"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."

Jerry Silverman

Gathers songs about the Cumberland Gap, the Erie Canal, the Mississippi, the Alamo, the Gold Rush, and the Old Chisholm Trail.

Irene M. Franck and David M. Brownstone

Traces the history of the following trade and travel routes: the Mohawk Trail, the Wilderness Road and other trans-Appalachian routes, the Mississippi Route, and the Santa Fe, Chihuahua, Oregon, and California Trails

Clinton Cox

Recounts the history of the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, comprised of African American soldiers recruited to open the West to settlers and whose deeds included escorting wagon trains, carrying mail, and fighting battles against Native Americans.

R. Conrad Stein
Follows a group of families as they make their way west along the famous Oregon Trail.
Laurel van der Linde
"Surveys the history of the Pony express, from its creation at the time of the Gold Rush to its demise at the start of the Civil War. Includes profiles of famous riders. "
Valerie Bodden
"A history of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's famed 1804-06 journey, detailing the challenges encountered, the individuals involved, the discoveries made, and how the expedition left its mark upon the world."
Courtni C. Wright

"Wright details the experiences and hardships faced by Ginny, a young African American girl, and her family as they travel west from Virginia to California in 1865. Unwelcome on the big wagon trains departing from Independence, Missouri, Ginny's family must form its own group of newly freed friends and relatives. They endure snakebites, drought, broken wagon wheels, extreme temperatures, and treacherous mountains before finally reaching California. In keeping with the picture-book format, Wright includes no maps and mentions no famous landmarks, concentrating instead on a few episodes in the fictional journey."--Booklist

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
"A modern-day wagon train journey is interwoven with fascinating facts about the harsh realities of a wagon train passage across the prairie one hundred years ago."
Charlotte Foltz Jones

Biographies of: Robert Gray (1755-1806) -- George Vancouver (1757-1798) -- Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820) -- John Colter (1774 or 1775-1813) -- Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) -- Stephen Harriman Long (1784-1864) -- James Bridger (1804-1881) -- Jedediah Smith (1799-1831) -- Joseph Reddeford Walker (1798-1876) -- John C. Fremont (1813-1890) -- John Wesley Powell (1834-1902).

Judith Alter

Frontier women were not only homesteaders' wives, they were also teachers, lawyers, doctors, cowgirls, social reformers, and even outlaws.