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Westward Expansion: An Interactive History Adventure
Westward Expansion: An Interactive History Adventure
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You Choose Books

Westward Expansion: An Interactive History Adventure

The era of Westward Expansion was a turning point in U.S. history. When President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803, it nearly doubled the size of the nation. The president sent Lewis and Clark to learn more about this land. Many people thought it was the nation’s destiny to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean, a belief known as Manifest Destiny. People moved west to farm, to start businesses, or to strike it rich. But the American Indians who were native to these lands had a different perspective. If you were around at the time of Westward Expansion would you have been: A traveler on the Oregon Trail? A laborer? A Sioux warrior? You Choose offers multiple perspectives in history, supporting Common Core reading standards and providing readers a front row seat to the past.

Reading LevelGrades 3-4
Interest LevelGrades 3-7
Lexile Level650L
PublisherCapstone Press
BrandYou Choose Books
Page Dimensions5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Page Count112
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $34.65 School/Library Price

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Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - Enid Portnoy

"The author describes the pioneers and native Americans who lived and traveled Westward to open the borders of the United States to begin a new age of expansion in the 1800s. Historical events, hopes, and dreams of individuals, arduous travel, and amazing discoveries move the stories along. As readers proceed on their preferred, selected reading paths, directions on the bottom of the pages offer readers a choice as to which way the action of the story can develop. As an example, a reader can seek fortune as a new settler, try to find a job in this new area, or assume the role of a native Indian warrior who wants to preserve the land he knows, from the strangers “invading” it. For each group, death is a reality, never far from their thoughts. All individuals are besieged with feelings of anxiety and fear about the decisions they make. The narration summarizes decisions made and the barriers which each group must confront in order to stake out territory and a life for themselves and/or their families. A classroom teacher can divide the class into settlers, soldiers, and Lakota Indians and create activities to give students opportunities to role play and sense associations with these different groups caught up in the history of our country. In addition, writing and research assignments can uncover more information about this period and the additional choices which these individuals actually faced. Most historical facts are presented by Lassieur without subjective comment, with short sentences and brief descriptions to help readers imagine the setting. The text covers major events and those who lived through them, which helped change the face of the West. It is an excellent starting point from which parents and teachers can expand a young reader’s investigation of how people coped with mammoth changes. This reviewer wishes that more detail might have been included in Chapter One about the variety of motivations the settlers had about leaving their homes and families to rush into an untamed area full of danger and unknown disasters. Sensitive young readers might be upset by the stark and tragic endings which their selected paths lead them to as they read the book. Perhaps more illustrations depicting the vastness and emptiness of the landscape might help to emphasize the huge changes individuals experienced. A time line from 1803 through 1890 is provided, along with a page labeled “Other Paths to Explore,” a brief list of additional readings, an easy FactHound Internet website to explore and a Glossary. The book is part of the series “You Choose” and offers three story paths, forty-seven choices, amid nineteen endings. The author should be commended for the creativity of her approach which helps make this part of history come alive." - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

January 1, 2008


Learning Magazine

2009 Winner, Teachers' Choice Award for Children's Books

January 1, 2009

Association of Educational Publishers

2008 Finalist, Distinguished Achievement Award

January 1, 2008

Allison Lassieur

Allison Lassieur

Allison Lassieur has written more than 100 books on many topics, including history, biography, science, and current events. She has also written fiction novels and short stories, puzzles, and activities. When she isn't busy writing, Allison enjoys knitting, spinning, and reading good novels. Allison lives in Trenton, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and a houseful of pets.

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