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American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Overview


The little-known life of York, the African American slave owned by William Clark, and his contributions to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition are examined in this carefully crafted Society of School Librarians International Honor Book. Award-winning author Laurence Pringle gives an accurate account of York's life—before, during, and after the expedition. Using quotations from the expedition's journals, he tells how York's skills, strength, and intelligence helped in the day-to-day challenges of ...
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Overview


The little-known life of York, the African American slave owned by William Clark, and his contributions to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition are examined in this carefully crafted Society of School Librarians International Honor Book. Award-winning author Laurence Pringle gives an accurate account of York's life—before, during, and after the expedition. Using quotations from the expedition's journals, he tells how York's skills, strength, and intelligence helped in the day-to-day challenges of the journey. Artists Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu consulted with a Lewis and Clark expert to create thoroughly researched and stunning watercolor paintings of York's life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] handsome tribute to Clark's near-lifelong companion and slave. Carefully noting where details are scant or absent, he traces York's early years, significant role in the expedition that is 'still considered the greatest in United States history,' and later and later unhappy experiences. . . . Rich in eye-opening observations." —Kirkus Reviews

"Pringle tells the story well." —School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 3–5
Pringle pieces together much of York's story using journals from Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition and other sources. These records attest to York's helpfulness and strength, as well as to the fascination that many Native American groups had for the man, describing him as "big medicine." In an introduction, the author explains that he uses the word "probably" since slaves seldom left the kinds of primary sources that researchers need. He explains that, according to the customs of the time, slave births were not recorded and that York wouldn't have had a choice about joining the expedition. However, he also points out that both York and Sacagawea were allowed to vote on the placement of the group's winter fort, a right granted ahead of its time. Pringle doesn't gloss over Clark's poor treatment of his servant after the journey, placing it in the context of the times while maintaining the strong story line. Large, expressive watercolor illustrations portray York as a vibrant young man and reflect the remarkable landscapes and grueling work of exploration. Pringle tells the story well, describing York's contributions to this specific expedition while setting a much broader context.
—Pat LeachCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Sticking closely to historical records and current scholarship, Pringle follows up Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland's Adventures with Lewis and Clark (2002) with this handsome tribute to Clark's near-lifelong companion and slave. Carefully noting where details are scant or absent, he traces York's early years, significant role in the expedition that is "still considered the greatest in United States history," and later unhappy experiences. Nearly always easily identifiable as the tallest figure in sight, York can be followed from childhood to maturity in the grand watercolor illustrations as he grows up with Clark, takes an active role in providing food for the expedition and coping with emergencies, clowns with laughing Arikara children and strikes a final heroic pose at the end. Rich in eye-opening observations-Pringle notes, for instance, that when the expedition took a vote, both York and Sacagawea participated-this study joins Rhoda Blumberg's York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark (2004) atop the teetering stack of Lewis and Clark titles. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590782828
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,032,365
  • Age range: 8 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Laurence Pringle is the recipient of three major awards for his body of writing--the Eva L. Gordon Award for Children's Science Literature, the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in West Nyack, New York.

Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu have illustrated many books, including An Angel Just Like Me, Snow in Jerusalem, Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree, and Jewels. They live in New York City.

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