Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea's Story

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9780786804924: Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea's Story

Sacagawea describes how, at the age of sixteen, she becomes part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and serves as their interpreter and guide, surviving many dangerous adventures on their trek through the wilderness.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-How would Sacagawea recount the story of her life to her son Pomp, who was just a baby when they crossed the uncharted West with Lewis and Clark? As this novel opens, the boy is six, traveling with his parents on a flatboat to St. Louis for a reunion with William Clark, who will oversee Pomp's formal education. The familiar passing landscape prompts Sacagawea to weave her story for her inquisitive son, who learns that his mother's journey was the culmination of an already extraordinary life. Sacagawea tells of being kidnapped at age 11 by hostile Hidatsa, married at age 13 to a man who won her as a gambling prize, and introduced to Lewis and Clark at age 16, taking an unwitting step into history as their interpreter and guide. Her eyewitness account of the journey details all its legendary hardships and triumphs, and while those events still make for exciting reading, this novel is most memorable for the flesh-and-blood Shoshoni woman who emerges from its pages. Sacagawea is revealed as a complex personality: a protective mother, a skilled navigator, and a brave negotiator who often saves the expedition from disaster. Her unique insight energizes this story and lifts it beyond mere adventure. It will have tremendous appeal for readers perhaps too young for Scott O'Dell's Streams to the River, River to the Sea (Houghton, 1986), another superb novel featuring a first-person narrative by Sacagawea.
William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The authors of Off the Map: The Journals of Lewis and Clark return to the story of those explorers' famous expedition, this time imagining the point of view of Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark's Shoshoni guide. Sacagawea is kidnapped by a neighboring tribe at age 11, then married off to a white trader. Shortly after the birth of her first son, Pomp, 15-year-old Sacagawea and her translator husband join the captains and their crew on their long, arduous journey west. Sacagawea secretly plans to abandon the party once she reaches her native village, but after spending months weathering hardships--illnesses, near drownings, attacks by grizzly bears, plagues of mosquitoes--her loyalties gradually shift. Sacagawea's detailed observations of nature ("I truly loved these tall white birds with their black wing tips. Their calls echoed over the river like the distant whooping of hunters jubilant after a successful hunt") and her practice of survival skills offset a certain patness in the diction ("My heart soared like the eagle") and provide insight into the discoveries and tribulations of both settlers and Native Americans. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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