The Lewis and Clark Trail: Then and Now

The Lewis and Clark Trail: Then and Now

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, William Munoz, D. Patent, William Munoz
     
 
When the Lewis and Clark expedition departed on its voyage of exploration in May of 1804, the region of North America west of the Mississippi River was a blank spot on the map. Lewis and Clark were to fill it in with rivers and mountains, Indian tribes, and animals new to European Americans. Today the West is a completely different place from what it was two hundred

Overview

When the Lewis and Clark expedition departed on its voyage of exploration in May of 1804, the region of North America west of the Mississippi River was a blank spot on the map. Lewis and Clark were to fill it in with rivers and mountains, Indian tribes, and animals new to European Americans. Today the West is a completely different place from what it was two hundred years ago. Every inch has been mapped, and much of its land has been covered by farms, ranches, cities, and towns. Award-winning author of more than a hundred nonfiction books for children, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and photographer William Muñoz capture the contrast between the American West then and now in this informative volume, aided by old prints, photographs, and paintings.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Patent reminds readers of the enormity of Lewis and Clark's expedition by contrasting today's conveniences with the hands-on efforts made in the past. History is woven into this narrative so that, like Patent's other books about the people on this trail, she covers the facts of the expedition while interesting readers in the hows and whys. For instance, in one of many two-page sections, she deals with the recording of the expedition. A quote from Jefferson's orders begins the text; what both explorers took in the way of journals, quill pens, and brass tips, the kind of ink they used, an excerpt from each journal, and a paragraph on spelling variations of the time is also covered. Patent ends by pointing out how much information we have learned about life at that time from these two "writingest explorers." Pictures are a mix of period drawings and paintings (some of which are poorly reproduced so as to appear dark or unclear), photos, maps, and examples of gear; all are well captioned. A small square of map shows where the expedition is positioned at the point where Patent is explaining or expanding upon. The 58-page book reads aloud well and parts would make lively reading for a middle-grade study. The author has also written two companion books, one about plants, the other about the animals found on the trail. Index and additional Web site resources are included. 2002, Dutton,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This book adds little to the body of work already available. The title promises comparisons between the trail's past and present but for the most part this is another recounting of the journey. The stress is so much on the "then" that when mention of "now" comes, it seems to interrupt the flow, intruding on readers' growing interest in the progress of the expedition. For example, just as the explorers have crossed the Bitterroot Valley and prepare to turn west into the mountains, Patent discusses the Bitterroot Valley today and how modern techniques have helped pinpoint the site of the camp. The two-page chapters are each introduced with a quotation-usually from an expedition journal-and illustrated with full-color photographs and historical paintings. This does not allow for much depth in or development of the topics. The journey and the participants make for fascinating reading and Patent does a good job of conveying the hardships involved. There are, however, some problems with the text. Told in the first chapter that the goal is to reach the Pacific Ocean, readers will be surprised to find no mention of the explorers reaching the coast. Only the inset map shows that the second winter camp, Fort Clatsop, is located by the Pacific. Patent extols the talents and backgrounds of the men chosen for the Corps of Discovery but then readers come to "Clark also brought along his black slave, York," verbally relegating the man to subhuman status. Rhoda Blumberg's The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark (Morrow, 1995) is a much better choice.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Lewis and Clark were about to undertake their famous journey in 1803, North America was divided into five sections: the US, the British-controlled northern and western areas to the Rocky Mountains, the Louisiana Territory, the southwest, controlled by the Spanish, and the unclaimed Oregon country. Lewis and Clark's mission was to find a water route across the continent, map the west, and collect specimens of plants and animals; Patent's mission is to "compare the wilderness they explored with the America of today." Lewis and Clark's mission got mixed results. The Rocky Mountains dashed their hopes of a water route across the continent, but they did return with natural riches and tales of adventure. Their tales inspired a new generation of exploration and settlement, ultimately a disaster for the Indians, who suffered diseases and the takeover of their lands. Patent's mission, too, gets mixed results. It's a fascinating premise to retrace the trail and see what has changed. Farms, towns, cities, and dams have changed much of the landscape, but the wilder parts of the Rocky Mountains are much the same, and monuments along the way preserve memories of the grand adventure. But the work reads more like a scrapbook--brief chapters on various facets of the trek, accompanied by photographs, maps, and excerpts from journals. Readers who want the drama of the journey would do better to read a novel such as Bruchac's Sacajawea (2000) and use this volume for background information. This will be a useful research tool, though the bibliography is skimpy, suggesting only a small number of books and Web sites, including the author's own. Still, this is a must for library collections on the subject.(author's note, resources) (Nonfiction. 9+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525469124
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
9.44(w) x 11.36(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile:
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, winner of the Golden Kite Award and the Eva L. Gordon Award, lives in Missoula, Montana.

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