WHICH WAY TO THE WILD WEST?  by Steve Sheinkin


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14


Similar in format and style to King George: What Was His Problem? and Two Miserable Presidents (both 2008), Sheinkin offers another fast-paced, irreverent look at American history. The author, a self-described reformed textbook writer, chronicles America’s westward expansion, beginning with the Louisiana Purchase and ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre, which he refers to as the “last major fight between American soldiers and Native Americans,” a troubling mischaracterization in an otherwise well-written historical overview (the consensus among historians is that the action at Wounded Knee was a massacre, not a battle as it has often been mislabeled in the past). An engaging storyteller, the author uses humor and little-known anecdotes to make such subjects as Manifest Destiny, the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush and Custer’s Last Stand entertaining for readers. His chatty, informal style can wear at times, but it will appeal to young readers turned off to history by stale textbooks. Robinson’s cartoons complement the text. Appendices include extensive source and quotation notes. Inevitably superficial due to its scope, this is nonetheless an accessible and engaging historical overview. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-321-2
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2009


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