Fraser (One Giant Leap, 1993, etc.), in her specific portrait of one mission in southern California, gives a broad historical perspective of the settlement and development of the state. Ambitiously, she covers the progress of the forgotten Chumash, the indigenous people of the land, from the 1500s to their role in the building and foundation of the mission--La Purisima--to its eventual abandonment and restoration as a historical monument. Fraser includes the influence of the Spanish, Mexicans, and Anglos through their respective invasions, and through the facts, introduces larger themes that will spark discussions about civilization and humanity. While covering a lot of information, Fraser's text is quite readable, embedded in a layout that allows for detailed illustrated sidebars about the people and their way of life. The scenes evoke the California terrain and climate; the book has region-specific uses, but will appeal to readers in any part of the country.