The author offers a brief overview of U.S. history from the Louisiana Purchase to the Census Bureau's 1890 declaration that the frontier was "closed," giving readers an idea of the people and the times, including mapping, the wagon trains, the hardships, the railroad, and home life. Each chapter comprises a general discussion, numerous illustrations, sidebars documenting important people and topics, a glossary of specialized terms, and one or two activities related to the chapter's theme. Projects range from a salt-dough relief map marking the routes of various trails to a recipe for pemmican. A supply list, succinct yet clear directions, and safety cautions are noted. Several activities, such as the cross-stitch sampler, are very time consuming, but others, such as the recipe for Johnnycakes, can be completed in less than an hour. Suggest this to middle-schoolers in need of a history project and to teachers, scout leaders, and camp counselors wanting new ideas.