Designed for middle school students from the fifth grade up, this well-illustrated historical encyclopedia traces the changing nature of the American frontier from the days of Daniel Boone through the 1920’s. The 193 signed articles describe the lives of Indians, explorers, trappers, missionaries, cowboys, gunslingers, homesteaders, lawmen and soldiers. Essays on popular culture and daily life reflect the ways of native tribes as well as the incoming settlers. The natural resources that attracted both groups are explored. From the Trail of Tears to the battle at Wounded Knee, the conflicts between the opposing peoples are traced. Also chronicled is the process of opening the West. The importance of overland trails, steamboats and railroads are explained. The role of important inventions, the gold rushes and other events in furthering the expansion is described. The roles of immigrants, African Americans, Women and children also are presented. Entries on dime novels, radio westerns and movies illuminate contemporary ideas of the frontier. So too do hundreds of contemporary maps, paintings, engravings, photographs and movie stills. Each volume is separately indexed and contains a selective bibliography specific to the volume. In addition to a general index, the final volume contains six subject-specific indexes and a gazetteer to accompany the numerous maps. Other supplementary material includes a glossary, timeline and a subject-arranged general bibliography. This excellent introduction to the American West will serve school and public libraries.