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WORDS WEST by Ginger Wadsworth Kirkus Star


Voices of Young Pioneers

by Ginger Wadsworth

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-23475-6
Publisher: Clarion

Forty thousand children and their families made the great overland journeys to the West from 1840 to 1870. Whether escaping poverty or seeking gold, freedom, or farmland, the pioneers’ routes—the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail—have become part of the American experience of hitting the road in search of something better. So many young pioneers kept journals that Wadsworth had much to draw on. Her use of primary sources—diaries, letters, and memoirs—is exemplary. Clear prose and a passion for her subject are evident throughout this superb volume. Maps, archival photographs and other period illustrations, informative captions, and many sidebars make fascinating reading. Practically every paragraph of the narrative is supported by quotations from actual travelers. The bibliography is big and useful, including many resources for young readers. A model of fine history writing. (author’s note, epilogue, sources, chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)