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Women of the Frontier
Cover of Women of the Frontier
Women of the Frontier
16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble-Rousers
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In 1849 Luzena Wilson set out for California in a covered wagon with her husband and two little boys, hungry to join the tide of gold seekers. Like thousands of others, Luzena undertook the nearly...
In 1849 Luzena Wilson set out for California in a covered wagon with her husband and two little boys, hungry to join the tide of gold seekers. Like thousands of others, Luzena undertook the nearly...
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  • In 1849 Luzena Wilson set out for California in a covered wagon with her husband and two little boys, hungry to join the tide of gold seekers. Like thousands of others, Luzena undertook the nearly 2,000 mile journey to an unknown land, where she'd rise from flood and fire, a survivor of the wild frontier.

    From months on the trail to life in a sod hut, western women adapted to their new lives and found beauty in the rugged, often dangerous landscape. They helped tame the Wild West as they farmed, ranched, kept shops, founded libraries and churches, staffed schools, and won the right to vote.
    Using journal entries and letters home, author Brandon Marie Miller lets the women speak for themselves in tales of courage, enduring spirit, and adventure. Meet women such as homesteader Miriam Colt, entrepreneur Clara Brown, army wife Frances Grummond, naturalist Martha Maxwell, missionary Narcissa Whitman, and political rabble-rouser Mary Lease.
    Women of the Frontier also recounts the impact pioneers had on those who were already living in the region. As white settlers gobbled up the lands of Native Americans and people of Spanish descent, the clash of cultures brought pain to many including Rachel Plummer and Cynthia Ann Parker, and spearheaded the work of Susette la Flesche and Sarah Winnemucca, who fought the government's treatment of American Indians.
    An Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

    Using journal entries, letters home, and song lyrics, the women of the West speak for themselves in these tales of courage, enduring spirit, and adventure. Women such as Amelia Stewart Knight traveling on the Oregon Trail, homesteader Miriam Colt, entrepreneur Clara Brown, army wife Frances Grummond, actress Adah Isaacs Menken, naturalist Martha Maxwell, missionary Narcissa Whitman, and political activist Mary Lease are introduced to readers through their harrowing stories of journeying across the plains and mountains to unknown land. Recounting the impact pioneers had on those who were already living in the region as well as how they adapted to their new lives and the rugged, often dangerous landscape, this exploration also offers resources for further study and reveals how these influential women tamed the Wild West.

About the Author-

  • Brandon Marie Miller is the author of Benjamin Franklin, American Genius; George Washington for Kids; and Thomas Jefferson for Kids. She has received a dozen national awards for her writing.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 7, 2013
    Miller (Thomas Jefferson for Kids) offers a comprehensive look at the lives of pioneer women, both in general and specifically, who bravely ventured to the American west in the mid-19th century. Seven detailed chapters delve into such topics as harrowing trail journeys (“omen hardened to shocking sights—seeing the dead lowered into graves without coffins or funerals, watching haunted people tramping home after giving up the struggle.... Young ones wandered off or fell and were crushed beneath wagon wheels”), the hardships of homesteading life, frontier entertainment, and female political activism. Fascinating, mini-biographies of 16 women round out each chapter, incorporating excerpts from letters and journals. Readers meet former slave Clara Brown, who amassed an entrepreneurial fortune in Colorado but lost it helping others, as well as Donner Party survivor Margret Reed, whose story is harrowing, as are those of two women held captive by the Comanche. Missionary and army wives, widows and entertainers—all impress and inspire as they survive, sometimes thrive, and carve out new lives for themselves. B&w archival illustrations and photographs punctuate the text. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2013
    A collection of fascinating tales of women's trials and triumphs during the years of settlement in the West. Miller has divided the book into broad topics that gather stories of women's roles in settlement of the American West. "Many a Weary Mile" describes the trip west by wagon; "Oh Give Me a Home" explores early pioneering experiences. "A Woman Can Work," "And Now the Fun Begins" and "Great Expectations for the Future" all examine the careers of women who stepped out of typical female roles of the era. "A Clash of Cultures" tells of the experiences of two young white females captured by Native Americans and two Native American women's experiences dealing with white culture. The stories strike a nice balance, profiling many different types of experiences. Each chapter begins with a broad overview of the topic and then narrows down with compelling tales of individuals. Inclusion of first-person narrative through the use of letters and diaries brings the women to life in their own voices, augmented by revealing black-and-white period photographs with very brief captions. Part of this enlightening effort is a reworking of the 1995 Buffalo Gals of the Old West, which was aimed at a somewhat younger audience. While presented as an offering for teens, this work would be equally appropriate for adults. A thoughtful and attractive presentation of a complex and intriguing topic. (extensive bibliography and endnotes) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2013

    Gr 10 Up-Nearly three times as long as Miller's Buffalo Gals: Women of the Old West (Lerner, 1995), this richly expanded edition also has six main sections. Each one focuses on a different aspect of Western life from the 1840s to the 1890s-the journey west, home life, women's work (including a brief section on "fallen women"), entertainment, politics and social issues, and the Native American perspective. This edition includes two to three individual narrative accounts per section. The details are fascinating and the perspective is well-rounded, from famous figures such as Margaret Reed of the Donner party expedition and Carry Nation, the anti-alcohol crusader, to lesser-known figures and minorities such as African American pioneer Clara Brown and Indian activist Sarah Winnemucca. Well-chosen photographs and primary-source quotes are plentiful and riveting. "Had I not the constitution of six horses, I should have been dead long ago," says one California woman. Those interested in Western and women's history will enjoy these detailed accounts of exploration, entrepreneurship, hardship, heartache, sacrifice, and survival.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Women of the Frontier
Women of the Frontier
16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble-Rousers
Brandon Marie Miller
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16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble-Rousers
Brandon Marie Miller
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