West: An Illustrated History for Children


A presentation, based on a PBS television documentary, of the story of the West, a magnificent but harsh landscape, and the people who have tried to claim it.

A presentation, based on a PBS television documentary, of the story of the West, a magnificent but harsh landscape, and the people who have tried to claim it.

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A presentation, based on a PBS television documentary, of the story of the West, a magnificent but harsh landscape, and the people who have tried to claim it.

A presentation, based on a PBS television documentary, of the story of the West, a magnificent but harsh landscape, and the people who have tried to claim it.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Part of a three-book series, this book is a spin-off of the PBS television series, "The West." The first volume gives an overview of the history of the westward movement, from the conquistadors to the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the period of the California Gold Rush and later nineteenth-century homesteading. The following two volumes expand upon several chapters in the first book. The events and individuals spotlighted were obviously selected for their potential interest to the largest range of children (a number of Native Americans, one Mormon multiple wife, and several black entrepreneurs are included.) The black and white photos throughout are well chosen and well reproduced.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 UpThese three books, based on the PBS series, could essentially be incorporated into one volume. Prior knowledge of the West and its history may be helpful; however, the material is so well presented and illustrated (chiefly with archival photographs and reproductions) that novices, scholars, or browsers can dip in anywhere and emerge with useful impressions and/or information. While some of the same ground is covered in a multitude of titles, the presentation is fresh and greatly enlivened by the visuals that appear on every page. For example, The West includes a shot of the copper smelter in Butte, MT, and the statement that surrounding hills were stripped of trees for fuel to fire the furnacesthis happened in many of the mining towns. In addition, coverage is not limited to the famous folks usually written about; instead, photo coverage is given to real people of various ethnic groups. These volumes are a real achievement; they are sure to inform, entertain, and invite further investigation on the subject.George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Kirkus Reviews
In the West, "hope and opportunity often existed side by side with disappointment and hardship." This volume, along with companion books, People of the West and The Gold Rush, are intended to coordinate with public television's upcoming series, "The West," but work just as well as stand-alone overviews of a complex subject. The book opens with the story of Native Americans, who first settled the vast lands from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, and proceeds with the pioneers, who decided to make all of those territories their own by slaughtering the first inhabitants. With ample black-and-white photographs and quotes (in large type) of many primary sources incorporated into the design, the book offers both browsers and serious researchers a way into the text. Stephen Ives and Ken Burns provide an introduction.

Readers will marvel at the spirit of these American pioneers, as well as their perseverance, and will welcome this balanced and thoughtful treatment of an exciting era. (index, not seen, b&w photos, maps, bibliography)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766943278
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136

Meet the Author

Dayton Duncan
Dayton Duncan

Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of The National Parks, is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker. His nine other books include, with Ken Burns, Horatio’s Drive and Lewis & Clark. He has collaborated on all of Ken Burns’s films for twenty years as a writer, producer, and consultant. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

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