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Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About Westward Expansion

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History--with the good bits put back. Discover the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds and derring-do that won the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Steve Sheinkin's Which Way to the Wild West? delivers America's greatest adventure. From the Louisiana Purchase (remember: if you're negotiating a treaty History--with the good bits put back. Discover the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds and derring-do that won the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Steve Sheinkin's Which Way to the Wild West? delivers America's greatest adventure. From the Louisiana Purchase (remember: if you're negotiating a treaty for your country, play it cool.) to the gold rush (there were only three ways to get to California--all of them bad) to the life of the cowboy, the Indian wars, and the everyday happenings that defined living on the frontier.


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History--with the good bits put back. Discover the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds and derring-do that won the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Steve Sheinkin's Which Way to the Wild West? delivers America's greatest adventure. From the Louisiana Purchase (remember: if you're negotiating a treaty History--with the good bits put back. Discover the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds and derring-do that won the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Steve Sheinkin's Which Way to the Wild West? delivers America's greatest adventure. From the Louisiana Purchase (remember: if you're negotiating a treaty for your country, play it cool.) to the gold rush (there were only three ways to get to California--all of them bad) to the life of the cowboy, the Indian wars, and the everyday happenings that defined living on the frontier.

30 review for Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About Westward Expansion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I've only just started this book, but I LOVE STEVE SHEINKIN'S BOOKS SO MUCH I already want to give it 5 stars. These books make me wish I taught middle school history, instead of 4th grade everything. He makes history so much fun and in a way that makes sense. It so clearly explains which forefathers did what, why the governments did the things they did, and how our country came to be the way it is. I'm currently reading about making the Louisiana purchase from the French; why the Americans want I've only just started this book, but I LOVE STEVE SHEINKIN'S BOOKS SO MUCH I already want to give it 5 stars. These books make me wish I taught middle school history, instead of 4th grade everything. He makes history so much fun and in a way that makes sense. It so clearly explains which forefathers did what, why the governments did the things they did, and how our country came to be the way it is. I'm currently reading about making the Louisiana purchase from the French; why the Americans wanted the land, why the French wanted to sell the land, and how it all happened. Yay for Sheinkin! Update, finished reading: I so love reading history books. Something about being able to see things that happened over long periods of time unfold in a few hundred pages... Anyway, HOLY MOLY! I knew that the treatment of Native Americans in the mid-1800s was atrocious, but I didn't realize just how horrible it was until reading these descriptions. It was saddening to read how over time, the Indians were killed off, in massacres and wars, and cheated out of land. There are lots of other aspects of American history in the book too, of course. The gold rush, the building of the transcontinental railroad, stories of immigrants flooding into the country. With that said, it most definitely is geared toward young adults. If you're looking for a very in-depth, mature, non-fiction book about American history, this is not the book for you. Sheinkin writes with humor and lightness (as "light" as you can get with some very grizzly stories anyway). It was perfect for me. I read the whole book in two sittings. It's that great!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I don’t usually read nonfiction, but when I do, I always like to read Steve Sheinkin books. Which Way To The Wild West was very interesting and I learned a lot of new things about the Westward Expansion that I didn’t know already. Sheinkin writes nonfiction in such a captivating way. Five Stars!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    So good; so interesting; so sad. The history of the US west for about a century is so concisely summed up here with so many interesting anecdotes. As with his Civil War and Revolutionary War books, most adults would enjoy and benefit from these books as a good way to get the big picture in our heads. The story of the gold rush was incredibly interesting. The constant background of how bad America killed the native tribes, stole their land, and confined them to reservations is heart breaking. A R So good; so interesting; so sad. The history of the US west for about a century is so concisely summed up here with so many interesting anecdotes. As with his Civil War and Revolutionary War books, most adults would enjoy and benefit from these books as a good way to get the big picture in our heads. The story of the gold rush was incredibly interesting. The constant background of how bad America killed the native tribes, stole their land, and confined them to reservations is heart breaking. A Red Cloud quote at the end was very accurate I thought: "The white man broke all of their promises but one. They promised they would take our land. And they did." Highly, highly recommended for all ages!

  4. 4 out of 5

    carissa

    Recommended Ages: grades 5 and up Learn about the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds, and derring-do that helped win the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Sheinken delivers America's greatest adventure. I am a huge history buff and really enjoyed reading this book. There were a lot of facts about the West that I never knew. The books was broken up into small sections, which helped keep it flowing. The author had a very humor Recommended Ages: grades 5 and up Learn about the drama, discoveries, dirty deeds, and derring-do that helped win the American West. With a storyteller's voice and attention to the details that make history real and interesting, Sheinken delivers America's greatest adventure. I am a huge history buff and really enjoyed reading this book. There were a lot of facts about the West that I never knew. The books was broken up into small sections, which helped keep it flowing. The author had a very humorous writing style which would appeal to students bored with the stiff text of their school books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Sheinkin opens this book with a sheepish confession that he was a textbook writer, but that his bosses ruined his work by replacing all his really interesting material with boring charts and graphs. He then goes on to assure his readers that this book is loaded with all the "funny, amazing, inspiring, surprising, and disgusting stories" that history books should have. He is telling the truth... it was all those things. Really fun. Great supplemental teaching material for late Elementary and Midd Sheinkin opens this book with a sheepish confession that he was a textbook writer, but that his bosses ruined his work by replacing all his really interesting material with boring charts and graphs. He then goes on to assure his readers that this book is loaded with all the "funny, amazing, inspiring, surprising, and disgusting stories" that history books should have. He is telling the truth... it was all those things. Really fun. Great supplemental teaching material for late Elementary and Middle School History.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Owen

    It was an interesting quick read, this is Steven's strength. It was a fact-packed, interesting adventure and made nonfiction seem like a fantasy. I think I enjoyed it more than its prequel because we didn't learn about it in social studies yet. This is a reread. It was an interesting quick read, this is Steven's strength. It was a fact-packed, interesting adventure and made nonfiction seem like a fantasy. I think I enjoyed it more than its prequel because we didn't learn about it in social studies yet. This is a reread.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    It's so fun to go back and read about the things I didn't appreciate in school in the way Sheinkin approaches the material. It's so fun to go back and read about the things I didn't appreciate in school in the way Sheinkin approaches the material.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    History that was informative & exciting, with just the right amount of humor.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Isabella.Frohmannoregonfamilyschool.Com

    I did like Two miserable Presidents better but this one was still good. Steve Sheinkin writes great historical books. I love how he makes the books funny so its more enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to anyone of all ages. I learned a lot of stuff about the westward expansion that i didnt know about.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Land

    I really liked this book. It helped me understand and learn things about the wild west. It really gives you a backround of famous people back then. I would recommend this book to people who want to learn more things about history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mikail

    Well

  12. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Crumley

    Sheinkin writes a view of history that isn't sugarcoated. It's very brutal, but also presented in a funny way. Sheinkin writes a view of history that isn't sugarcoated. It's very brutal, but also presented in a funny way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Well researched nonfiction about the Wild West. Source and quotation notes, thorough index. Engaging style with maps and drawings. Grades 6-9.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Yet another history shortcut for me. I'm not big on non-fiction reading, but Steve Sheinkin's young adult books help me learn a little history without trying too hard! Yet another history shortcut for me. I'm not big on non-fiction reading, but Steve Sheinkin's young adult books help me learn a little history without trying too hard!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Really solid history of westward expansion that doesn’t shy away from the repeated horrors perpetrated on Native American tribes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan Blackley

    Great book about the Western expansion. I learned many things about the Wild West and a lot of interesting stories from the people that were there. I highly recommend this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abby Turner

    Very interesting stories of the West. Very well presented. Sweeet

  18. 5 out of 5

    sara

    3 Stars from Rachel Despite the ridiculous amount of errors in this book, I loved the content, organization, and delivery of info. I love Steve Sheinkin’s style

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Again I have nothing bad to say about Sheinkin, read my other ten reviews about his books and you'll see how much I love him. I guess this book's topic is what made it more difficult than the others for me to get through. I honestly had a hard time finishing this one, but the topic was one I felt didn't have a lot of meat to it and soon became very repetitive. There were still some interesting stories throughout, but it was lacking in comparison to Sheinkin's others. My suggestion is that if you Again I have nothing bad to say about Sheinkin, read my other ten reviews about his books and you'll see how much I love him. I guess this book's topic is what made it more difficult than the others for me to get through. I honestly had a hard time finishing this one, but the topic was one I felt didn't have a lot of meat to it and soon became very repetitive. There were still some interesting stories throughout, but it was lacking in comparison to Sheinkin's others. My suggestion is that if you are crazy about the Wild West (or you are in a quick need of a report on Manifest-destiny) then this book would be a good place to start. If you are looking for historical entertainment, try a different Sheinkin book because so many of them are outstanding.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    As is Sheinkin's forte, he weaves many perspectives together to present an enjoyable and readable view of history. In 'Wild West' the subject is more broad, as he details a time period as opposed to a single event. However it is relayed in a personal, anecdotal narrative rather than the broad sweeping textbook style. Overall I came away feeling sad for the treatment of the Native Americans. It concludes with a nice, 'Whatever happened to...?' follow up of the major role players. My one complaint As is Sheinkin's forte, he weaves many perspectives together to present an enjoyable and readable view of history. In 'Wild West' the subject is more broad, as he details a time period as opposed to a single event. However it is relayed in a personal, anecdotal narrative rather than the broad sweeping textbook style. Overall I came away feeling sad for the treatment of the Native Americans. It concludes with a nice, 'Whatever happened to...?' follow up of the major role players. My one complaint was with the illustrations. I thought they were a distraction and extreme in caricature.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    From what I have read of this author so far I do like his simple and readable format for historical reading. This one was definitely on the side of "for younger kids" but it was still worth a perusal to get a quick overview of what went on in several fronts as America expanded westward. A good way to get a quick perspective of things I hadn't learned since history class and some interesting facts I didn't know either. From what I have read of this author so far I do like his simple and readable format for historical reading. This one was definitely on the side of "for younger kids" but it was still worth a perusal to get a quick overview of what went on in several fronts as America expanded westward. A good way to get a quick perspective of things I hadn't learned since history class and some interesting facts I didn't know either.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Excellent book, just as good as the first two. Engaging, hilarious and the author did a great job in picking stories from a totally diverse group of people. These books are what history books should be like. I would recommend these books for all ages and here's hoping the author continues to churn them out. Excellent book, just as good as the first two. Engaging, hilarious and the author did a great job in picking stories from a totally diverse group of people. These books are what history books should be like. I would recommend these books for all ages and here's hoping the author continues to churn them out.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen Arendt

    I absolutely loved his other two books on the American Revolution and the Civil War. Can't wait to see how he tells the Westward Expansion! Not as familiar with the curriculum on westward expansion, so this was a little less interesting. Shenkin still has the great narrative style, that I enjoyed in his other two books! I absolutely loved his other two books on the American Revolution and the Civil War. Can't wait to see how he tells the Westward Expansion! Not as familiar with the curriculum on westward expansion, so this was a little less interesting. Shenkin still has the great narrative style, that I enjoyed in his other two books!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Margo Tanenbaum

    Another terrific book from Steve Sheinkin of all the good bits from history that your textbooks left out. This one starts with Lewis and Clark, covers the Alamo, the Oregon Trail, Gold Rush, building the railroad, Custer, the Indian Wars, conflicts between ranchers and farmers, and the end of the Wild West. He supplies a good bibliography and also a "whatever happened to..." section. Another terrific book from Steve Sheinkin of all the good bits from history that your textbooks left out. This one starts with Lewis and Clark, covers the Alamo, the Oregon Trail, Gold Rush, building the railroad, Custer, the Indian Wars, conflicts between ranchers and farmers, and the end of the Wild West. He supplies a good bibliography and also a "whatever happened to..." section.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rad

    This book tells the big picture of how the west was born, but it also includes little tidbits we don't normally learn about. The way the book was written made the history really easy to follow, which for a history-hater like me is important. There was even some humor! Now that I like. This book tells the big picture of how the west was born, but it also includes little tidbits we don't normally learn about. The way the book was written made the history really easy to follow, which for a history-hater like me is important. There was even some humor! Now that I like.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    This is a great book to give to kids who like the who is or what was series but are looking for something longer. It's well written and easy to read and covers a very interesting period of American history This is a great book to give to kids who like the who is or what was series but are looking for something longer. It's well written and easy to read and covers a very interesting period of American history

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Overall I liked the book. However, for me, this one didn't have the rich language and the things I love about his other nonfiction--the isolated stories he explores in greater depth. Still, it was a fun read. Reminds me of Nathan Hale (without as many illustrations). Overall I liked the book. However, for me, this one didn't have the rich language and the things I love about his other nonfiction--the isolated stories he explores in greater depth. Still, it was a fun read. Reminds me of Nathan Hale (without as many illustrations).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Engaging History as it should be....factual, personal, and fun. The variety in perspectives and the interesting primary source quotes make this the best history text I’ve ever read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    enjoyed it but a lot of typos were quite annoying

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Another fast read and a good jumping point if you want to learn a little about some US history.

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