Adventures in the West


Adventures in the West

Stories for Young Readers

Edited by Susanne George Bloomfield and Eric Melvin Reed

302 pages
14 Illus.


October 2007


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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October 2007


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Before MP3 players, DVDs, and video games, before even TV and radio, American children entertained themselves by reading. Often what they read were popular magazines aimed at the whole family; a weekly newspaper such as The Youth’s Companion or a monthly magazine like St. Nicholas were about all a turn-of-the-century family could afford. But what these publications afforded was invaluable, and it is this education in imagination and American life that Adventures in the West revisits.
Adventures in the West brings together twenty-six stories from The Youth’s Companion and St. Nicholas to offer a unique perspective on the values of the time. The stories also reveal the common myths, attitudes, and prejudices of life on the western frontier, reflected in the lessons these publications imparted to a young audience. To enhance the reader’s understanding, the editors have added historical and cultural background for each story. Some of the best writers of the time, including L. Frank Baum, Hamlin Garland, and Mary Austin, write of a West that mirrors American history and the values the authors sought to promote. Filled with the exploits of cowpunchers, pioneers, courageous Indians, and plucky animals, these riveting stories also embody the beliefs and experiences of an era and tell more than one story of their day.

Author Bio

Susanne George Bloomfield is Distinguished Martin Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Eric Melvin Reed is a graduate assistant in English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


"These are stories about cowboys, Indians, animals, pioneer families, and boys and girls. They reflect the time in which they were written, but their underlying lessons of decency and morality are just as valued today. . . . This is a fine addition to Western Americana fiction collections and will be useful to literature and history teachers."—School Library Journal

“The stories do more than relate interesting tales. They are windows to the world west of the Mississippi as it transformed from wilderness to a land of farms and cities, from the preserve of Indians to a land claimed mostly by white settlers. . . . [Readers] will appreciate these stories for their adventures, pioneer spirit and colorful characters.”—Omaha World-Herald

Table of Contents

Introduction: Susanne Bloomfield
Póh-hlaik, the Cave Boy: Charles Fletcher Lummis
McCoy’s Stampede: George Washington Ogden
Sister Anne and the Cowboy: Charlotte M. Vaile
Where the Buffaloes Begin: Olaf Baker
Her Neighbor’s Claim: May Roberts Clark
Kit: Major Charles Askins
The Black Hero of the Ranges: Enoch Josiah Mills
Smiley Hewitt and the Prairie-Wolf: John R. Spears
When Jennie Saved the Windmill: Clara L. Dobson
A Little Maverick: Patience Stapleton
Our First Well in Nebraska: Fitzroy Greenleaf
The McColloughs of the Bluff: Elia Wilkinson Peattie
How the Parsonage was Papered: Susan Hubbard Martin
The Doctor’s Visit: Hamlin Garland
In Common Laura: Tilden Kent
A Matter of Nationality: Edith Ronald Mirrielees
The Little Nugget Strike: George Edmands Merrill
The Buffalo Hunt: James Willard Schultz
“Old Glory” in the Desert: Ralph Delahaye Paine
A Native Teacher: Frances McElrath
Fairy ‘Spuds’: Theodora Marshall Inglis
The Common Sense of John Thomas: Henry Spofford Canfield
The Successes of Jimmy Sylvester: Leonard Kingsley Smith
The Girls at Overtown: Mary Austin
A Life Like Maggy’s: Marianne Gauss
Aunt ‘Phrony’s Boy: L. Frank Baum


Finalist for the 2008 New Mexico Book Award - Anthology Category 

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