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Children's LiteratureCrack open this book for an engaging, well-written tale about the Lewis and Clark journey. Many tales have been told about the trek, but this one is unique. It is told from the inside out by Sacajawea, who "belonged" to language translator Charbonneau, and by York who was Clark's slave. In this successful format, they give alternating first person travel accounts. The author does an excellent job of capturing the voices of these behind-the-scene travelers. Descriptive language with a songlike quality, " . . . faces paler than ashes, skin like brown soil, and a dog as big as a baby buffalo . . . ," flows freely throughout the book. About Sacajawea's reunion with her brother, Murphy paints this picture, "They cling together like a tobacco leaf to its stalk." Pages are peppered with similar examples. The colorful, informative text shows that their diversity allowed Sacajawea and York to feel a special empathy for each other. Enhancing illustrations fill two-page spreads so readers can take in a broad picture. Rich earth tones wrap around the tantalizing text to strengthen the outdoor scenes. In a satisfying, true ending, Sacajawea and York are given the opportunity to vote on where to build a winter fort, during a time in history when the women and blacks were not allowed to vote. End matter contains information about Sacajawea and York after the expedition. Included are books, website sources, and a pronunciation guide. This superb book should be added to all study about Lewis and Clark or read merely to enjoy the journey. 2005, Walker and Company, Ages 7 to 12.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury