Voices of the Western Frontier
Voices of the Western Frontier
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: Western expansion from a personal perspective. Sherry Garland created the Voices Series to provide personal narratives o... more
Catalog Number: #152136
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-455-61961-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-455-61961-0
Dewey: 978
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The western frontier is a consistently popular topic in classrooms and among young history buffs, so this latest addition to Garland's Voices series is likely to attract attention. The book elucidates this historic period through fictional first-person narratives of people who lived during the century of colonial expansion. Each double-page spread features a detailed painting and a free-verse poem relaying that narrator's unique story. Notable perspectives are those of women and children, which punctuate this traditionally male history. Racially diverse figures have important stories to tell as well, and Garland makes sure to include the narratives of a buffalo soldier, a Chinese railroad worker, and a vaquero. These first-person perspectives have the potential for creative curricular use: to examine voice, tone, language, and perspective, as well as critical thinking with questions about authenticity, cultural accuracy, and power. Buckner's realistic renderings of the people and landscape feel iconic at times, and teachers might pair them with photographs and encourage comparison of primary and secondary artifacts.
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ALA Booklist
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: 1-4

Western expansion from a personal perspective. Sherry Garland created the Voices Series to provide personal narratives of moments in America's past. Her newest addition to the series does just that. Focusing on the explorers and settlers who extended the frontier to the western coastline, Garland narrates in the voices of figures from history including Sacagawea, Jedediah Smith, and Annie Oakley. She fleshes out the timeline with characters representing whole populations, including a girl traveling west in a prairie schooner, a Santa Fe merchant, a gold prospector, a Pony Express rider, and a Chinese railroad worker. Artist Julie Dupré Buckner carefully researched the historical details for her evocative illustrations. Each image furthers the storyline and reinforces the emotional connection to the chronicle.

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