Sieur de la Salle

Overview

An introduction to the life of seventeenth-century French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, later known as Sieur de La Salle, who explored the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
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Overview

An introduction to the life of seventeenth-century French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, later known as Sieur de La Salle, who explored the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Author Englar writes a clear story of the life and adventures of the French explorer La Salle. The 32-page picture biography is divided into six short chapters. In the first, the reader is introduced to La Salle who traveled from the Great Lakes all the way to the Mississippi River, claiming for France all of the land and rivers that touched the Mississippi. He named the land Louisiana in honor of King Louis the XIV. The second chapter opens with La Salle's birth in 1643 in Rouen, France. At a young age he went to a school run by Catholic priests and decided to become a priest. But he changed his mind because he wanted to travel to North America (Canada) where the French had a colony called New France. La Salle settled in Montreal and became a fur trader, learning a lot from the Indians. But La Salle wanted to continue his travels, so he set out with a group of fourteen men and a few priests. Historians think La Salle may have reached the Ohio River. In 1677, La Salle sailed to France to ask permission to explore the Mississippi River. The King agreed and requested he build forts for the French during his travels. In 1682, La Salle reached the Mississippi River and then the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle went back to France, returning in 1684 with over 300 people to start a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River—but they could not find it. (They were in actually in what is now known as Texas.) La Salle's luck turned even worse as many of the colonists died from disease or fighting Indians. Their ships had sunk, so La Salle and some men went in search of help. The men were so angry at their situation that they killed the explorer. La Salle's legacy as a daring and courageous explorerwill appeal to readers interested in geography and history. Color illustrations and maps are included. Also, fast facts, a timeline, glossary, further reading and Internet sites. This biography is part of the "Fact Finder" series published by Capstone Press. 2005, Capstone Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-These books may be accurate, but they aren't exactly motivating. In short chapters, the authors give children a steady march through the explorers' journeys. Lots of the information is repeated in picture captions, the time line in the back, and the Fast Facts page. Simple maps and a few reproductions or modern photos help break up the monotony of the historical paintings and plodding narratives. The use of "Fact!" boxes makes readers wonder what the rest of the text is conveying and adds to the choppiness of the entire presentation. Going to the recommended Web sites provides deeper knowledge of the subject, but the reading levels there are much higher than in the books. Especially disheartening are the unattractive cover portraits in which not even Leif Eriksson appears exciting or dangerous.-Erlene Bishop Killeen, Fox Prairie Elementary School, Stoughton, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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