Monday, August 10, 2009

Nonfiction Monday: Which way to the wild west? by Steve Sheinkin, ill. by Tim Robinson

I've been looking forward eagerly to Steve Sheinkin's newest history book for quite some time. Although I was personally a little disappointed with Two Miserable Presidents, I thought King George: What was his problem? one of the best middle grade history books I've read. And now Steve Sheinkin has done it again.

Which Way to the Wild West? is a balanced, cohesive, enthralling story of America's westward expansion. The story covers famous events, such as the Donner Party, discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, Battle at Wounded Knee, and the life of Chief Crazy Horse, as well as lesser-known movements, such as the Exodusters, Ghost Dance, and a fascinating look at the building of the trans-continental railroad.

Loaded with original sources and quotations, personal stories, battles, and the struggle to survive of many different people, this overview will only whet reader's appetites for more. Interspersed with fun illustrations, and humorous captions, this is the perfect book to introduce a reluctant reader to history. The sources and bibliography are arranged simply and efficiently for readers who want to find out more about the various personages and events.

Verdict: Highly recommended for reluctant readers, students interested in western history, or anyone who likes a good story!

ISBN: 978-1596433212; Published July 2009 by Flash Point; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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