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Ghost Towns of the American West
(Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
HarperCollins 2001
Accelerated Reader:
IL: MG - BL: 7.2 - AR Pts: 1
Lexile measure:
1100L
Status:
Checked Out

Description

If it is abandoned by all or most of its inhabitants, a settlement becomes a ghost town. The buildings and dirt streets may remain, but the character and soul of the place change entirely. And so it was with mining camps, lumber camps, and cowboy towns scattered across America, particularly in the West: places with names like Gregory's Diggings, Deadwood, Bodie, Calico, Goldfield, and Tombstone, some of the over 30,000 deserted towns in the United States.
Why did people come to these isolated places? Why did they leave? As Raymond Bial's narrative explores the history of our ghost towns, his well-composed photo-graphs silently tell their stories: of bustling, muddy streets, of large mercantile stores, and, ultimately, of short-lived dreams of gold, fertile land, or simply a good place to call home.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/26/2001
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547769240
Accelerated Reader:
MG
Level 7.2, 1 Points
Lexile measure:
1100

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Raymond Bial. (2001). Ghost Towns of the American West. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Raymond Bial. 2001. Ghost Towns of the American West. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Raymond Bial, Ghost Towns of the American West. HarperCollins, 2001.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Raymond Bial. Ghost Towns of the American West. HarperCollins, 2001.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:59:18
Date Updated:
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Last Metadata Check:
Jul 21, 2024 10:47:15
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        Raymond Bial is an acclaimed photoessayist for children. Four of his books were chosen as Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies by the NCSS. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife and children.

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Ghost Towns of the American West
fullDescription

If it is abandoned by all or most of its inhabitants, a settlement becomes a ghost town. The buildings and dirt streets may remain, but the character and soul of the place change entirely. And so it was with mining camps, lumber camps, and cowboy towns scattered across America, particularly in the West: places with names like Gregory's Diggings, Deadwood, Bodie, Calico, Goldfield, and Tombstone, some of the over 30,000 deserted towns in the United States.
Why did people come to these isolated places? Why did they leave? As Raymond Bial's narrative explores the history of our ghost towns, his well-composed photo-graphs silently tell their stories: of bustling, muddy streets, of large mercantile stores, and, ultimately, of short-lived dreams of gold, fertile land, or simply a good place to call home.

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      • value: Grade 8
      • value: Grade 9
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      • content:

        February 1, 2001
        Bial's latest photo-essay delves into the mystery of abandoned Western towns and offers insight into the region's boom-and-bust legacy but ultimately disappoints. The volume begins by posing the questions "What sad and joyous events happened within the tumbledown walls and wind-blown streets?" and "Why did people settle in these lonesome places?" Unfortunately, the real draw of the ghost towns was the larger-than-life characters who came through them, and the sense of immediacy and the human cast that made Bial's The Underground Railroad so successful goes missing here. The author's solid research incorporates some primary source quotes and touches on some of the Wild West's best-known incidents (the shoot-out at the OK Corral; Wild Bill Hickock getting shot in the back during a poker game), but never fully captures the flavor of these colorful legends. (Fans of these dark heroes would do better with Andrew Glass's recent Bad Guys.) The best of Bial's photographs zoom in on telling details: a metal sculpture of a prospector, aged to a gray that blends with a cloudy sky; a saloon's windowsill filled with liquor bottles, overtaken by cobwebs and dust, filtering sunlight through plum and moss glass. But a few photos feature the same subjects, and several captions repeat nearly identical wording. Still, for aficionados of the Gold Rush or westward expansion, the photos here are worth a look. Ages 8-12.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2001
        Gr 4-8-At the heart of Bial's new book are the photographs, most of which are his: sharply focused, brightly colored daytime shots of remaining or restored buildings and the tools and necessities of their former inhabitants, or moody twilit skies against which the silhouettes of old buildings rear up. There is also a scattering of vintage photographs that stand out distinctly from Bial's more vivid approach. The text, in which the author moves from a general discussion of how locales come to be abandoned to a more specific look at the ghost towns of the 19th-century American West and the people who created and vacated them, can be described as an extended essay. Period quotations, especially several from Mark Twain, provide pointed insights into the viewpoints of the people who lived in these communities. Bial also surveys some of the most famous residents of various towns, including the Earp brothers and their involvement in the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. The lack of an index or a division of the text into thematic or chronological chapters will limit the book's use for reports or research, as might the occasionally romanticized comments. However, this is a topic that has not been recently treated for younger readers, and fans of photography and the Old West will be charmed by the author's details and the clarity of his shots. An extensive bibliography will also guide readers who want to know more to the appropriate books.-Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX

        Copyright 2001 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 1, 2001
        Gr. 3-5. Similar in design to Bial's earlier books, this photo-essay offers views of America's ghost towns and discusses their place in history. Several period photographs from the 1800s show these communities while they flourished, but the book's most effective illustrations are the evocative color photos of ghost towns today. These pictures are notable for their use of light to create moods and to define and reveal characteristics of the abandoned towns. Although the book has no index, it does provide information that students will find useful in understanding the history of these towns and the forces that shaped the West, and reveals the beauty, dignity, and loneliness of the towns as they are today. Bibliography appended. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2001, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        July 1, 2001
        Bial's stark, artfully composed photos perfectly frame this broad overview of abandoned sites of the past. Buildings, landscapes, and artifacts, primarily from restored towns, appear as silent sentinels to long-deserted places. The text explores the inhabitants of nineteenth-century Western towns that sprang up during westward expansion and then were abandoned as various ventures petered out. Bib.

        (Copyright 2001 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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shortDescription

If it is abandoned by all or most of its inhabitants, a settlement becomes a ghost town. The buildings and dirt streets may remain, but the character and soul of the place change entirely. And so it was with mining camps, lumber camps, and cowboy towns scattered across America, particularly in the West: places with names like Gregory's Diggings, Deadwood, Bodie, Calico, Goldfield, and Tombstone, some of the over 30,000 deserted towns in the United States.
Why did people come to these isolated places? Why did they leave? As Raymond Bial's narrative explores the history of our ghost towns, his well-composed photo-graphs silently tell their stories: of bustling, muddy streets, of large mercantile stores, and, ultimately, of short-lived dreams of gold, fertile land, or simply a good place to call home.

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