Another in the Once Upon America series, Facing West is the story of 11-year-old Ben, whose family is setting out for Oregon in 1845. Ben, who suffers from asthma, is frightened by all the dangers that lie ahead: hunger, rattlesnakes, hostile Indians, bears. And he feels guilty, too, because he thinks that his parents have decided to move to Oregon because the doctor has told them that the climate there will be better for his lungs. But as the journey gets under way, Ben becomes friends with a grown-up named Pete, who leads the wagon train, and who helps Ben overcome his fears and teaches him how to handle his illness. Well written, historically sound and sympathetic to the needs of the special-needs child, Facing West is a fine first introduction to the novel and a useful tool in the classroom.