Sacagawea: Native American Interpreter

Sacagawea: Native American Interpreter

by Judy Alter

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of "The Spirit of America/Our People" biography series, this book presents the life of a Native American woman whose participation in the Lewis and Clark expedition was both unprecedented and vital to their mission's success. Sacagawea, or "Bird Woman," joined the Corps of Discovery when her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trader, was hired to serve as an Indian language interpreter. However, it was his teenage wife, Sacagawea, who successfully negotiated with the Shoshone for the purchase of much-needed horses, who safely guided the explorers through her old homelands, and who calmly (and bravely) rescued journals and scientific instruments when one of the expedition's "priogue" boats overturned in a raging river. Sacagawea even gave birth to her first child on the expedition, a boy whom she and Toussaint named Jean-Baptiste, and quickly nicknamed "Pomp," the Shoshone name for 'first born.' The only documented portion of Sacagawea's life is the time she traveled with Lewis and Clark from April 1805 to August 1806. Little, therefore, is known about the rest of her life. There is little agreement, either. The book gives several different versions of her life story drawn from oral traditions. All, however, agree that Sacagawea was a woman of unusual strength, spirit and capabilities. Descriptive sidebars explain concepts related to tribal customs and the expedition's purpose; also included are maps, charts, timelines, table of contents, index, glossary and sources for further research, including Web sites. 2003, The Child's World,
— Dianne Ochiltree
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Each volume offers a brief look at the lives of two Native people. Since little is known of Sacagawea's entire life, the bulk of this book centers on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Discussion of the controversy of the woman's death is covered, but it is not clearly written. A mistake in the definition of the Continental Divide has rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean rather than the Atlantic. Joseph fares a little better because more is known about him. Quotes are included, but no sources are cited. One caption, under the image of a bronze coin with Chief Joseph's likeness, is misleading for children. It reads, "It is the only known portrait of him that was made while he was alive." Yet there are several photographs of him throughout the text. Each book promises that a list of links can be found at the publisher's site, but none were available. Clear, full-color photographs and reproductions of paintings and drawings add appeal. Additional purchases.-S K Joiner, Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Child's World, Incorporated, The
Publication date:
Spirit of America: Our People Series
Product dimensions:
7.48(w) x 9.92(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
8 - 13 Years

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