Eight chapters present the lives, times and deeds of eight famous European or Euro-American explorers and settlers, including--Onate, Kino, Serra, Sutter, McLoughlin, the Whitmans, De Smet, and Brgham Young. The Western states covered are--New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Utah. Although presented primarily from a Euro-American point of view, the author does attempt to include a Native American perspective, mainly by the device of a half-page insert in each chapter, touching on the people who were living in the area before the featured explorer or settler arrived. Many quotes from primary sources, scattered throughout the margins, help to enliven the text. The featured settlers represent a variety of professions, including missionaries, trappers, miners and educators. An introduction, index, bibliography, timeline, source notes, maps and many black-and-white photos and drawings add to the educational value of the book, which is part of the "Shaping America" series. 2000, Oliver Press, Ages 10 up, $21.95. Reviewer: Gisela Jernigan—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Doherty looks at nine important pioneers of the American West. Using primary sources, he profiles Juan de O-ate, a Spanish conquistador; Eusebio Kino and Jun'pero Serra, Spanish priests; as well as John Sutter, John McLoughlin, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, Peter De Smet, and Brigham Young. For each one, the author provides both biographical information and an overview of how the subject influenced the development of the area he or she settled. This approach allows readers to see the roles of strong individuals in the larger picture of settlement. The treatment of the trailblazers is very balanced, with discussions of each person's strengths and weaknesses as well as explanations of how their settlements affected Native populations. Sidebars, margin quotes, and anecdotes about related topics are also included. Black-and-white illustrations include period art and photos and contemporary photos of historic places. This book is broader in scope than Albert Marrin's outstanding Empires Lost and Won: The Spanish Heritage in the Southwest (Atheneum, 1997) and is more detailed than Carter Smith's rather superficial The Conquest of the West (Millbrook, 1992). It gives readers a clear perspective on the differing motives for white settlement and will be an excellent report source.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Childrens Book Watch
This survey of early trailblazers of the West tells of some of the earliest explorers to shape America, from missionaries to trappers and explorers. Excerpts from letters and primary sources accompany biographies which cover about 18 pages each and which include plenty of background about the area as well as details about the individual's impact. Included are features of John Sutter, Brigham Young, the Whitmans and more.
—Childrens Book Watch