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".
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."