Words West: Voices of Young Pioneers

Ginger Wadsworth, Clarion books, $18.00, hardcover

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Between 1841-66, nearly 500,000 pioneers went west.

Forty thousand of them were children, and one in five women gave birth on the trail. Rarely, however, is the saga told from the point of view of the children. Wadsworth culls the best quotes from young people’s journals, letters and reminiscences. The children’s words show that they had to grow up fast, yet most threw themselves into the adventure with as much verve as their parents. The text’s readable history of the era is suitable for young adults. It is illustrated with maps, charts and evocative black and white photographs from libraries and museums all over the West.

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