Cover image for Words west : voices of young pioneers
Words west : voices of young pioneers
Wadsworth, Ginger.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiii, 191 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Opening the West -- Preparations and leaving home -- Jumping-off -- Hoping to go twenty miles in a day -- Oregon or bust -- California gold and other destinations -- Entertainment and celebrations -- Chores and chow -- Life, death, and accidents -- Indians -- Mother nature rules -- Dry and hot -- Over mountains -- The ever-changing trail and times.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.0 6.0 74555.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F596 .W24 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Among the tens of thousands of pioneers who left home in covered wagons in the 1800s, headed for the West in hopes of fertile land, gold, or escape from religious or racial persecution, some forty thousand were children. Though the hardships and dangers of the trail were many, these children also witnessed the great and wild beauty of the untouched West and became an integral part of U.S. history. In this unique approach to the history of the wagon trail and western expansion, here are themoving stories of these young pioneers, told in their own words through letters home, diaries, and memoirs.
Ginger Wadsworth's clear and well-organized presentation is comprehensive, accessible, and richly illustrated with detailed maps and more than ninety archival photos and prints of life on the trail. Endnotes, bibliography, index.

Author Notes

As a girl, Ginger Wadsworth loved reading the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and dreamed of joining the Ingalls family as they traveled from place to place by covered wagon. These stories inspired her to write two biographies of Wilder for young people, plus another book about pioneer life, Along the Santa Fe Trail: Marion Russell's Own Story. Ms. Wadsworth lives in Orinda, California, with her husband, Bill. For part of the year, she migrates south to the Anza-Borrego Desert, where a section of the Southern Emigrant Trail passes near her cabin

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Quotations from the journals and other writings of young pioneers enliven this account of families who set out on overland journeys along the Oregon, Santa Fe, and other trails. Most portray a journey filled with hardships and danger, but many of these firsthand accounts bring out another aspect of the experience. For young people, the trip was often filled with fun and excitement-no school other than casual private study and reading, beautiful scenery, and nightly gatherings around campfires to play guitars and fiddles, sing, and dance. Unfortunately, the text is at times repetitious and some statements are generalized or oversimplified. For example, the author states that traveling on Sunday was a moral problem for many women and children but does not mention how men may have felt about the same issue. There is one chapter on Native Americans, but no mention of other inhabitants (e.g., Mexicans in California) displaced by the influx of white emigrants. The illustrations include numerous archival photographs and reproductions of engravings and posters and maps; many may be familiar to readers of Russell Freedman's Children of the Wild West (Clarion, 1983) and other titles. Despite flaws, this book will be a valuable addition to large collections of Western history because of its unique primary-source material.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Chapter 1 Opening the Westp. 1
Chapter 2 Preparations and Leaving Homep. 13
Chapter 3 Jumping Offp. 21
Chapter 4 Hoping to Go Twenty Miles in a Dayp. 31
Chapter 5 Oregon or Bustp. 44
Chapter 6 California Gold and Other Destinationsp. 53
Chapter 7 Entertainment and Celebrationsp. 66
Chapter 8 Chores and Chowp. 76
Chapter 9 Life, Death, and Accidentsp. 86
Chapter 10 Indiansp. 98
Chapter 11 Mother Nature Rulesp. 116
Chapter 12 Dry and Hotp. 126
Chapter 13 Over Mountainsp. 137
Chapter 14 The Ever-Changing Trail and Timesp. 146
Chapter 15 The Ever-Changing Trail and Timesp. 146
Epilogue and Sources: In the Promised Landp. 159
Chronologyp. 174
Acknowledgmentsp. 177
For Further Reading and Researchp. 179
Indexp. 185