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Children's LiteratureThe movement of people across the American West has achieved a legendary status. Images of wagon trains, settlers, cavalrymen, Native American warriors, gold seekers, and many others dot the collective consciousness of Americans. In Westward Expansion, writer David King compiles a representative sampling of first-hand accounts of many key events that make up the tableau of the American West. King begins with the 18th century migration led by people such as Daniel Boone and culminates at the turn of the 19th century with the Oklahoma Land Rush. Regardless of the time period covered, the reality of those travels was that they were hard. In the West, migrants encountered harsh weather, hostile Native Americans who considered them to be invaders, mishaps on the trail, and a host of other impediments. Here, readers are provided clever introductory summaries of key elements of the pioneering era as well as numerous primary source documents. These primary source voices include letters from pioneer women, accounts of lawmen, diary entries from wagon train members, military reports, and many other fascinating bits of history. Through careful editorial work, David King has produced a book that will be of value to students of the westward movement of people that we now refer to as the saga of the American West. 2003, John Wiley & Sons, Ages 12 up.
— Greg M. Romaneck