Wild West

Common Sense Media says

Easy-to-read portrait of the Old West.





What parents need to know


Nongraphic discussion of raids, battles, and wars; guns pictured and named; hanging mentioned. Small drawing of a warrior whose chest is pierced with skewers tied by leather thongs to a sacred pole.

Not applicable

Makeshift camps of railroad workers referred to as "hell on wheels."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the oversize, visual-dictionary format showcases illustrations, old-timey maps, period photos, and paintings.

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What's the story?

From teepee villages to cow towns, from the quarterhorse to the iron horse, this is a rich, lavishly illustrated survey of the Old West with engaging slices of information told in readable, you-are-there style. Tribal homelands and warriors, ranchers and homesteaders, trail and home life, forts and battles--this book covers it all.

Is it any good?


The history behind such fascinating real-life characters of the Old West as Crazy Horse and Geronimo, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok, and Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill is described here in short, easy-to-read overviews, each introducing a chapter of the American West. The author skillfully sets these familiar figures in the larger context of historical events.

The author briefly outlines the impact of events and people, as well as describing daily life on a ranch, a trail, a mining town, and a prairie. Short captions (with an occasional typo) under bold headings reveal details such as collecting buffalo dung for fuel, outfitting a Conestoga wagon, and building a sod house. Each page spread is well designed, offering plenty of information in visual form. This is a browser-friendly portrait of the Old West that the author hopes will dispel misunderstandings about the era.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the romanticized history of the American West. Do you feel you have a real sense of what it was like to live then? How does it compare with the West of myth and legend?

Book details

Author:Mike Stotter
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Larousse Kingfisher Chambers Inc.
Publication date:January 1, 1997
Number of pages:64

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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