Title: Steamboats to the WestSteamboats
Author: Edith S. McCall
Illustrator: Robert Borja
Pages: 127
Recommended Ages: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★★

Steamboats to America is a volume in the Frontiers of America series, a set of books dedicated to providing informative, historical introductory books for children. This particular book focuses on the invention and progress of the steamboats in the early eighteen hundreds. It begins by relating the hardships of keelboat navigation as experienced by Captains Lewis and Clark, and outlines several other adventures along the journey of the newly invented steamboat, culminating with the reasons for why railroads replaced steamboats as the main tool of expansion.

Each chapter focuses on a particular character – explorer, inventor, passenger, you name it – and their experiences while on board a steamboat. Thus, the history is related in an engaging fictional format. The prose is not rich – indeed, it is quite simple – but is very clean.

‘By golly’ is used once.

Conclusion. An excellent resource for mechanical or frontier oriented children.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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