FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Recounts the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the uncharted western wilderness, placing it in its historical context.
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Grade 4-6-These titles have "reluctant reader" written all over them. They are decently packaged with well-chosen and credited photographs, but the large-print, generously spaced text is written in short, choppy sentences, losing the narrative flow and the drama of history well told. In Lewis and Clark, the expedition is said to be traveling "mostly north" toward the Gates of the Mountains, after their portage of the Great Falls on the Missouri River, an egregious geographical error. Even more bizarre is the use of the term "Chopponish" for the much more commonly known Nez Perce. Expedition journals used the uncommon appellation, but there is no footnote explaining the connection. Unfortunately, in telling about the expedition's various encounters with Native Americans, Sullivan emphasizes the potentially threatening, unfriendly, and fearsome aspects. Paul Revere also contains factual errors but suffers even more from oversimplification. There is no discussion of the American colonial system as context for the independence movement and revolution; events such as the First Continental Congress are mentioned with no explanation. For a title on Lewis and Clark that is truly "in their own words" see Peter and Connie Roop's Off the Map: The Journals of Lewis and Clark (Walker, 1993), and for an excellent, accessible history, Rhoda Blumberg's The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark (Morrow, 1995) is hard to beat. Jean Fritz's And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (Coward-McCann, 1973) remains a favorite account of the silversmith's daring role in revolutionary America. Given the sloppy effort, these titles are marginal.
Nancy Collins-Warner, Neill Public Library, Pullman, WA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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