The Captain's Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe

( 36 )

Overview

Born the runt of his litter and gambled away to a rusty old riverman, the Newfoundland pup Seaman doesn’t imagine his life will be marked by any kind of glory—beyond chasing down rats. But when he meets Captain Meriwether Lewis, Seaman finds himself on a path that will make history. Lewis is just setting off on his landmark search for the Northwest Passage, and he takes Seaman along. Sharing the curiosity and strength of spirit of his new master, Seaman proves himself a valuable companion at every turn. Part ...
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The Captain's Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe

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Overview

Born the runt of his litter and gambled away to a rusty old riverman, the Newfoundland pup Seaman doesn’t imagine his life will be marked by any kind of glory—beyond chasing down rats. But when he meets Captain Meriwether Lewis, Seaman finds himself on a path that will make history. Lewis is just setting off on his landmark search for the Northwest Passage, and he takes Seaman along. Sharing the curiosity and strength of spirit of his new master, Seaman proves himself a valuable companion at every turn. Part history, part science—and adventure through and through—The Captain’s Dog is the carefully researched, thrilling tale of America’s greatest journey of discovery, as seen through the keen, compassionate eyes of a remarkable dog.

Captain Meriwether Lewis's dog Seaman describes his experiences as he accompanies his master on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the uncharted western wilderness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Fresh and original.”—Publishers Weekly
“Action and adventure abound . . . [An] entertaining introduction to an episode of American history rarely celebrated in fiction.”—School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In addition to Girl of the Shining Mountains (reviewed above), which gives Sacagawea's perspective on Lewis and Clark's exploration, Smith's (Thunder Cave; Jaguar) historical novel imagines the duo's epic 1804-1806 journey through the eyes of Captain Lewis's Newfoundland dog, Seaman. The novel opens in 1808, when two former members of the expedition discover Seaman living with Nez Perce Indians; one of them presents the pair with Lewis's red-leather journal, rescued by Seaman. This opening framework may be mechanical, but the novel eventually hits its stride: as the traders read aloud the entries (actual text from Lewis's journals), they trigger Seaman's flashbacks. The canine's perspective, both fresh and original, is most effective in objectively relating a diverse array of customs and tribes. The narration strikes a note of humor, too, especially when Seaman offers insight into a dog's life: "Dogs know humans better than they will ever know us." Seaman's voice, however, does not adhere to a canine purview as cannily as Henrietta Branford's recent Fire, Bed and Bone, and the narrative occasionally lapses into admonishment (e.g., when Lewis berates himself for his failed iron boat scheme, Seaman mentally recounts the man's resume of accomplishments). An author's note offers little historical perspective on the expedition, but readers may well leave with a thirst for more of Lewis and Clark's adventures. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Laura Hummel
Traveling with the Lewis and Clark expedition, Seaman recounts the incredible journey and describes fellow travelers in great detail. He is particularly fond of Sacagawea and other members the "tribe," although he was actually owned by Captain Lewis. Seaman, a large Newfoundland dog, spent many hours during the journey observing the unusual behavior of humans. He was so astounded by their pitiful noses and useless ear appendages that he took it upon himself to serve sentry duty and he delighted in watching the men stumble about when he signaled danger. Seaman guided the starving men to game and saved one of his friends from an attacking bear. He is protected by White Feather, his spirit guide, and tells about the various Native American tribes encountered along the way. Seaman's text is accompanied by "scratchings" done by Lewis in a diary he uses to record the progress and failings of the expedition. Roland displays his expertise as a wolf and canine biologist as he relates the historical information from the dog's point of view in a realistic manner that is often tinted with humor, adventure, and emotion. Children and dog lovers will delight in this refreshing perspective on such an important part of American history.
ALAN Review
Here's a delightful twist. The story of Lewis and Clark's search for the Northwest Passage is told from the viewpoint of Seaman, Captain Lewis' dog. The story begins with the reunion of five members of Louis and Clark's famous group, plus Seaman. As they gather around the fire the night of their reunion, one of their members, Watkuweis, reveals a pleasant surprise--the red leather bound journal of Captain Merriweather Lewis. From there, this fascinating tale of sacrifice and courage is told through the vivid written accounts of their long ago journey across the country to the Pacific Ocean. The travelers retell tales of surviving raging rivers, attacking grizzly bears, invading tribes, raging hunger, and bitter cold. Through all, the reader is introduced to Native American history and American folklore. Especially fascinating is when Lewis and Clark greet native tribes with messages of peace and goodwill from their Great White Father, President Thomas Jefferson. Although lengthy, this novel is geared for young adults because this adventurous tale of loss and hope is told through the eyes of Lewis and Clark's trusty dog. An excellent addition to a history unit about America's pioneer beginnings, and as a complement to Stephen Ambrose's award-winning account of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Undaunted Courage. Genre: Adventure/History. 1999, Harcourt Brace, Ages 12 up, $17.00. Reviewer: J. Elaine White
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's review of the hardcover edition: Captain Meriwether Lewis' Newfoundland dog tells his version of the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Purchased in Pittsburgh by Lewis, Seaman the dog was so named because he was born on a ship on the Atlantic—and because Lewis planned for him to see the Pacific. Seaman sets out with the Corps of Discovery in search of the Northwest Passage, encountering adventures of various kinds along the way as they study unfamiliar flora and fauna and befriend local tribes. In brief chapters prefaced by entries purportedly from the Captain's private log, Seaman tells of meeting Indians and grizzlies, fighting off wolves and befriending Sacagawea. Students familiar with the story of Lewis and Clark may appreciate this fictional fleshing out of their historical journey. Smith, a former wolf biologist, is sensitive to the dog's view of the world. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Harcourt/Gulliver Books, 290p,18cm, 99-25608, $6.00. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This is the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition as witnessed by Seaman, the massive Newfoundland dog that accompanied the two captains. Faithful to their original diaries, the novel brings to life the day-to-day challenges faced by the team charged with the task of exploring the American West and searching for the legendary Northwest Passage. Action and adventure abound: frequent attacks by grizzly bears and voracious mosquitoes, arduous crossings of nearly impassable landscapes, mutiny and desertion, and close encounters with both friendly and hostile Indians. However, while Seaman's narration is inventive, Smith has difficulty sustaining it, mainly because the dog is such a minor player in the momentous events that he describes. His point of view often seems too omniscient and introspective, resulting in a narrative that sounds uncomfortably human. Only when he recalls a purely canine memory such as marking trees does he snap readers back to the realization that this storyteller is indeed four-legged. Still, this occasional awkwardness does not diminish the scope and power of this entertaining introduction to an episode of American history rarely celebrated in fiction. For another novel about Seaman and his role in the expedition, look to Gail Langer Karwoski's Seaman (Peachtree, 1999), a lively account in which this brave animal is a much more central character.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152026967
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Great Episodes Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 291
  • Sales rank: 106,952
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Roland Smith is a former zookeeper and leading expert on red wolves as well as an author. He lives on a small farm near Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    THIS IS AN AWSOME BOOK!!!!!

    Seaman is a Newfoundland pup, the smallest of the litter. He thinks his life will never be exciting until Captain Meriwether Lewis buys him from an old riverman. He joins the corps of discovery and his existence becomes a blast! Read this electrifying story to find out the rest!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    The Most Superlative Book on Earth

    The Captain's dog is a historical fiction novel about the Lewis and Clarck expedition really captured my attention for it was dictated by Lewis' dog, Seaman.This is the first time I have read a book from a canine's point of view.Seaman is a Newfounland pup the smallest of the litter.He thinks his life will never be exciting until Captain Meriwether Lewis buys him from an old riverman.He joins the Corps of discovery

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Awesome Awesome

    Im in awe

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    I like the cover

    Dogs are my forte

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Awesome

    Love it! Lots of adventure!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2004

    Seaman the Dog Tells his Story

    In this book, Seaman tells the story of his adventures on the expedition. He was born the runt of his litter and for him things seem like it`s just going to always be boring, That is, until he`s bought by Meriwether Lewis. Then his life turns into an exiting adventure full of fun and fleas. It`s a great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    The 1st Opinion

    The book, The Captain¿s Dog: My Journey With the Lewis and Clark Tribe, was a fast-moving book told in an interesting point of view, a dog¿s. Although not always historically accurate about forks in rivers and exact dates, dipction of aniamls, scenary, and Native Americans was most of the time accurate. Some strong language, but not overwhelming for sixth grade. The diffcult story line, and details including in this book are both hard to follow, but one that needs to be read again to get the full effect of the expedtion. This book, is a suprisingly wonderful novel the second time around when small details link throughout the book. Some opinions expressed in the book are also fictional, and are not historically accurate. When studying the Lewis and Clark expedtion, this book would make, an excellent resource to help for better understanding of the Lewis and Clark expedtion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Furious and Splash- URGANT

    I am so sorry, but I must quit rp due to rp hating parents. I would stay, but I can't. I hope this tribe thrives. Goodbye for the last time.
    ~¿urious clatter if waterfall and $plash of spraying water

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Talonface and Snowtail

    A massive black tom white white eye patches and paws walked in with a beautiful silver she cat with green eyes and brown flecks." Im Talonface. My sister Snowtail and i would like to join." The tom said.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Kitz

    Blackkit- *the white she-kit races in, breathing heavily*
    Whitekit- *the black tom looks around* Can me and my littermate have some food?
    -MLOAK

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    HERBPAW

    A little green eyed apprentice with white fur stands on a high rock. His raven fured friend Ravensflame says" this little apprentice should be a medicine cat. He found out about liquid meds!"

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Icetail

    Older than any other cat alive. Older than ur great grandparents great grandparent.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Drgontounge

    I understand. Good bye...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    ¿¿¿???

    So this is the tribe of endless prey...

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Boring book

    It ls confusing.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Great book!

    I really enjoy historical books and this one is no exception. Great book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Awsome

    Yo yo its bojo

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2008

    A Great Book!

    The Captain's Dog is retelling the Lewis and Clark expedition, but in a dog's point of view. The book tells how Lewis' dog Seaman goes through an adventure that causes him fear, pain, and excitment. This book helped me learn more about the Lewis and Clark expedition, but it also made me laugh. Seaman is a Newfoundland pup, who is experiencing the Lewis and Clark expedition. When you read this book you'll see that Seaman's view is a lot different from Lewis' and Clark's. They start off their journey at St. Louis, Missouri and make their way up to Ft. Clatsop. During their journey they meet Indian tribes, find new places, and Seaman even finds another dog. There are many characters, but these are the main characters, Seaman, Captain Lewis, Captain Clark, and Sacagawea. Although this book got boring at times, it turned out to be a great book. It's filled with lots of adventure and excitment. It may lose you at times, but stay with it because it's an awesome book. This book will teach you more about the Lewis and Clark expedition and even make you laugh. When you read this book you'll feel like your actually on the expedition!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2002

    An excellent book for adventurous readers

    If you read 'The Captain's Dog: My journey with the Lewis and clark tribe,' you will soon find that it NEVER gets boreing. It is a book where you just can't put the book down. It is filled with many exciting adventures and best of all....it is told in the point of view of a dog. Also, it has hardships, to make you think that the book will end in a different way. Infact, you'll never guess how the book ends. Trust me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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