Treeless Plains

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Author: Glen Rounds
Publisher: Holiday House; Hardcover Picture book
Ages: 9-12

One of the first concerns of the settler in any new country is for shelter to protect himself and his family. To the colonists who settled on our Atlantic Coast, housing presented little difficulty, for timber for building purposes was plentiful. But as the American frontier moved westward to the treeless plains beyond the Missouri River, homeseekers were forced to look for other means of shelter. This is a lively, absorbing account of the early settlers of the Middle Border--the part of the High Plains that later became the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. It describes how these homesteaders first lived in cavelike dugouts, and later learned to use the tough buffalo grass sod to build houses above ground. It tells too about the peculiar housekeeping problems, about the settlers' "play parties and dances," and of the cyclone cellars or "fraid holes" that were as essential on the plains as a house. In words and dozens of drawings, Glen Rounds here recreates with immediacy and authenticity--and frequently with wry humor--a part of American frontier life that has been almost forgotten.

         

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