Rick Steber

Rick Steber

Writing the West

Western History Books
for Education and Learning

Helping people of all ages and abilities

Rick Steber’s Tales of the Wild West series of books and audio tapes have found a loyal following among classroom teachers and home school families.

Tales of the Wild West portrays history in the words and actions of the people who lived it. Each story teaches a lesson, illustrates a point, gives a first-hand perspective of pioneer life. Many of the tales are told in the words of those who traveled west over the Oregon Trail, walked to one-room schools, helped with the harvest and found fun and meaning in simple pleasures.

Educators and parents praise the Tales of the Wild West because it sparks an interest in history for students in grades 2–8. Children enjoy reading because the stories are entertaining and fun to read. And while improving reading skills, they learn about real people in history.

How Tales of the Wild West Benefits Students:

  • Challenges students to understand history in a meaningful context.

  • Concise and entertaining stories promote reading skills and the enjoyment of reading.

  • Fosters pioneer values, morals and work ethic.

  • Enhances and supplements U.S. history curriculum.

  • Tales of the Wild West books have an overall readability of 6.2, ranging from 3.2 on many conversational passages to 7.3 on descriptive passages. According to teachers, the well-written and interesting material has pulled many students into reading far above their reading level.

Rick Steber tells us in broad terms about the scope of his popular Tales of the Wild West series:

“Not long ago I spoke to a class of fourth grade students, asking them when they thought the history of their local area began. A boy raised his hand and offered, ‘About three years ago. That’s when they built our subdivision.’”

“His perspective of history did not take into account that western man dates back thousands of years to the last Ice Age when wandering nomads from Asia migrated to North America. Our modern west began to emerge only during the past two hundred years when Europeans swept into the country. They introduced diseases from which the native people had no natural immunities and 90% of the indigenous population perished.”

“This left a broad territory, from the Great Plains to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, ripe for the taking. Missionaries came in search of native souls to save, mountain men were lured to the rivers and streams by abundant animal furs, pioneers arrived in covered wagons seeking free land and new beginnings, miners were driven by personal greed. Successive waves of buffalo hunters, stockmen, sodbusters, loggers, those seeking religious freedom and economic freedom washed over the land, changing it forever.”

“My Tales of the Wild West series illustrates the various eras of westward expansions through individual stories of courageous men and women who came west to range stock on the native grass, break fields out of sagebrush flats, reclaim marshlands, clear the forests, build homes and raise families. These folks speak of a time when honest values and good moral character were paramount, when a person could be taken at his word and a handshake guaranteed any agreement. They take pride in making a better life for their families with their personal courage and hard work as well as Mother Nature’s generosity.”

“The intricate weave of these very remarkable and inspiring stories underscores the fragileness of the fabric upon which we base our sense of Western history. These unforgettable personal accounts detail how their own lives were changed and collectively how they shaped the history, attitudes and identity of western society. These voices serve to remind us that we are rapidly losing the foundation of our Western heritage.”

“Once these people are gone we can only keep alive the history they have graciously shared with us. We can hold these memories in our hearts and pass them on to a new generation that otherwise would never know what they have missed.”