Children's LiteratureToo often in history the contributions of women are overlooked. This slim book, part of "The Library of the Westward Expansion" series, looks at the critically important role women played at this great time in the history of the United States. Readers will discover women were often right alongside the men who ventured into the west in the mid 1800's to start new lives. Missionaries were some of the first women to go west; Narcissa Whitman and her husband journeyed west in 1836 to bring Christianity to the Native Americans. Gold also drew men and their wives westward. Nellie Cashman opened a boarding house where she fed and cared for miners. Female doctors also found it easier to be employed in the West where any doctoreven a womanwas better than none. Black women also played an important role. While discrimination was still prevalent, Mary Fields became the first women to deliver the United States mail. Other topics presented are women in the suffrage movement and the hard work and harsh conditions that all women faced in the western wilderness. The large text is easy to read and each double-page chapter includes one full-page illustration or photograph. This book is a super resource for elementary and older students. A glossary, an index and websites to visit for more information are also included. 2003, The Rosen Publishing Company, Ages 8 to 12.