Journey Into Mohawk Country by George O'Connor, Hilary Sycamore |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Journey into Mohawk Country

Journey into Mohawk Country

by George O'Connor, Harmen Meyndertsz Van Den Bogaert, Hilary Sycamore

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George O'Connor brings Harmen van den Bogaert's journal of his travels into Mohawk country nearly four centuries ago to life with simple and striking artwork. An ALA Great Graphic Novel for Teens.


George O'Connor brings Harmen van den Bogaert's journal of his travels into Mohawk country nearly four centuries ago to life with simple and striking artwork. An ALA Great Graphic Novel for Teens.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Snow Wildsmith
From December 11, 1634, to January 21, 1635, Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert traveled one hundred miles from Fort Orange, on the tip of what is now known as Manhattan, into the heart of the Mohawk tribe. The French had begun cutting into the Dutch beaver pelt trade, and van den Bogaert and his friends needed to protect their market to prevent the failure of the colony. During the trip, van den Bogaert kept a journal of his experiences, and it is this journal, unabridged and unaltered except for the translation, that O'Connor uses as the basis for this book. O'Connor handles his duties well in his first graphic-format rendering. His pictures are funny and interesting and keep the flow of the book going. Starna and Gehring's translation is easy to read, while still retaining the work's old-fashioned flavor. A glossary at the back of the book helps with Dutch or Mohawk words that could be confusing, although most questions are answered by the illustrations. The main problem with placing this title in nonfiction is that O'Connor's interpretations of the action could be taken as what actually happened as opposed to an artist's liberty. The book is a good choice for libraries looking for something different for their graphic novel shelves, but it should be paired with the original work or other books on the history of New Amsterdam colony in order to get the full picture of the times.
KLIATT - George Galuschak
This is an adaptation of the journal of Herman Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, a Dutch barber-surgeon. In December 1634, he and two companions journeyed into upstate New York. Their mission: forge new trade agreements with the Indian tribes in the area. In the 1630s beaver hats were all the rage in Europe, so beaver pelts were of vital importance to the small settlement of New Amsterdam. The Dutchmen traveled from village to village dining on such delicacies as beaver meat, beans lathered with bear grease and cooked pumpkin. They watched a village play war games, saw how Indian healing worked (the doctors thrust sticks down their throats and vomited on the patient), and attempted to buy a tame bear. Since they journeyed in the heart of winter, there was a lot of snow. Journey into Mohawk Country is a good choice for graphic novel collections with an educational emphasis. Bogaert's journal provides a wealth of interesting historical details, but in itself is rather dry reading. It is left to O'Connor to fill in the details, which he does by creating visual gags, giving his protagonists personalities they probably didn't possess and making up stories that didn't happen—for instance, Willem Tomassen (one of the Dutchmen) gets a girlfriend. Journey into Mohawk Country contains mild comic book violence and is recommended for junior high and high school graphic novel collections.
Kirkus Reviews
O'Connor's graphic novel is an example of the kind of work that will engage younger teens and spark interest in a potentially dull and little-known segment of American history. Based on the 1634 journal of Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, this describes his venture into what is now the state of New York. The 23-year-old interacted with Native American tribes, establishing trust in order to acquire wildly popular beaver pelts used in European hat-making. O'Connor incorporates rich browns and blues against a black backdrop in the work's panels that include both interior and exterior scenes. Readers can almost feel the extreme cold and the harsh conditions of the region. The tribes' lifestyles are presented favorably and their customs enhanced by the artwork. Several facial expressions are presented with exaggerated juvenile quirkiness, marking the work's interest level as definitely middle school. Though the price tag is high for the format, the book's quality ensures its place in studies of pre-Revolutionary America. (Graphic novel. 12-15)

Product Details

Perfection Learning Corporation
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Something. This is his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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