Why Armstrong Perry--one of the more versatile and vivid authors and illustrators this country has produced--is not more appreciated staggers our imagination. Sperry's great grandfather, Sereno Armstrong was a clipper captain, and the tales he told of life under sail in the South Pacific ultimately provided the setting for Sperry's Newberry Award winner, Call It Courage. But his historical novels, all based on solid research and a strong narrative line featuring young boys who face and subdue daunting challenges, are real page-turners. Wagons Westward is among the best--it will give you a whiff of what the journey along the Santa Fe Trail in 1846 must have been like and how a restless American managed to wrest much of the Southwest from Mexico and the Indians. As usual, the book is enhanced by the spirited drawings by the author.
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