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SeaMan: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark

SeaMan: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark

5.0 8
by Gail Langer Karwoski, James Watling (Illustrator)

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This imaginative retelling of the journey of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the Corps of Discovery brings to life an unheralded member of the Corps -- Seaman, a 150-pound Newfoundland dog. As Seaman makes the long trek with the Corps, he serves a key role in the expedition's success. Come along with Seaman and his companions as they explore the vast uncharted


This imaginative retelling of the journey of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the Corps of Discovery brings to life an unheralded member of the Corps -- Seaman, a 150-pound Newfoundland dog. As Seaman makes the long trek with the Corps, he serves a key role in the expedition's success. Come along with Seaman and his companions as they explore the vast uncharted lands beyond the Mississippi River. Travel with them as they form friendships with several Indian tribes and welcome Sacagawea to the expedition. Experience with them the many dangers of this wild land. And rejoice with them when they cross the Continental Divide and finally reach their goal -- the rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean. Gail Karwoski's thorough research, her sharp eye for accurate detail, and her engaging portrait of this heroic dog will draw readers into one of the most exciting chapters in American history.

Editorial Reviews

Carolyn Phelan
Based on a true story gleaned from period journals, this historical novel dramatizes the story of Seaman, the Newfoundland dog that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition. Along the way, Seaman befriends a member of the Corps of Discovery and proves itself to be a valuable contributor to their happiness and success.

Despite the occasional passage of information-laden conversation, the story flows well. The appended author's note separates fact from fiction to some extent and tells what happened to the main characters after the events in the book. James Watling's many handsome, shaded-pencil drawings will help readers visualize the setting, hardships, and dramatic moments of the story; and two maps will enable them to follow the explorers' route. An effective, fictional introduction to the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Herbert Kupferbeg
Gail Langer Karwoski has had the delightful idea of making Seaman the central character in her retelling of the epic story of the famous expedition. Seaman: the Dog Who Explored the West With Lewis & Clark ... obviously is a fictionalized account, but its atmosphere is realistic, its timetable is accurate, and its events and characterizations are grounded in fact. Seaman joins the intrepid explorers in the tale with a personality all his own, hunting and retrieving game, toting supplies, battling against wild animals (once almost losing his life when bitten by a beaver) and frolicking with his companions around the evening campfire.

This soundly researched, smoothly written story will bring the entire expedition alive for readers 8 to 12, adding not only a canine but a human element to a tale that never grows wearisome. Nobody knows what happened to Seaman after his Western adventures, but he has certainly left one good book behind him....
Parade Magazine

The Lewis and Clark Expedition is an exciting part of our history that intrigues us all. This fictional account of their journey revolves around Seaman, a huge Newfoundland dog who belonged to Meriwether Lewis and was a real part of this long and hard trip to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Lewis did mention his dog in his journals and some of Seaman's adventures were true, such as being bitten by a beaver, chasing a buffalo out of camp, and being kidnapped by the Indians. Other adventures are fictional but no doubt probable. Lots of notable characters including Captain Clark, translator Charbonneau and his wife Sacajawea and their baby Pomp add to the tapestry. An interesting book for history buffs as well as dog lovers. KLIATT Codes: J�Recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Peachtree, 187p. illus. map. bibliog.,
— Barbara Jo McKee
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
This fascinating story describes the experiences of Seaman, a Newfoundland, who participates in the Western exploration of Lewis and Clark. He serves as hunter, navigator, and protector for the men and women on the momentous, dangerous journey. Seaman's adventures are as interesting as those of the famous men accompanying him on the first cross-continental expedition.
Seaman: The Dog Who EXplored The West With Lewis & Clark is a wonderfully written, very highly recommended historical novel. Young readers will thrill to the story of an epic American saga showcased through Lewis' brave and loyal dog Seaman, the first dog to cross the continent and open up the west for the fledgling country of America. Author Gail Karwoski has given meticulous attention to historic detail and background, always the hallmark of a superior historical novel. She combines this with an impressive gift for storytelling that will engage young readers from first page to last. One special and unique feature is the Q & A format for the "Author Notes" at the end of this remarkable work.

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
A Peachtree Junior Publication Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

Dayton Duncan
No story from our nation's history is more enduring - or exciting - than the epic saga of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In this well-researched and finely written book for young readers, Gail Karwoski brings the story back to life through the expedition's most unlikely and endearing hero: Lewis's brave and loyal companion, Seaman, the first dog to cross the continent.
Dayton Duncan, co-author with Ken Burns of Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

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SeaMan: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book tells the reader what is going on at this time period. I think it is a very exciting book and I could not put it down!! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding, I would highly recomend this book to anybody studying The Lewis and Clark expedition, whether its for home-schooling, public school or just for fun or hobby.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seaman sounds like a very smart energetic dog who loves to explore. He's alot like me and i think captain lewis was lucky to have found such a wonderful dog. And i surley wish i could have a dog like Seaman around here for sure. And to all you readers I highly recomend this boook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a gift to Newfie breeder who raved when she received; other B & N customer reviews helped me make this winning selection! Thank to all!
qwertyuioplkjhgfdsazxcvbn More than 1 year ago
<><><><><><><><> One day a man named Mr. Hanson was walking with his dog and he notices a city person. That city person was shooting at some ducks on the river. When the hunter gets one Mr. Hanson tells the dog to go and get it. Obediently the dog does and retrieves the duck. Mr. Hanson tells the dog to give the duck to the hunter. The dog does but the hunter is very mad. He says ¿What is the meaning of this sir? Why did you send your dog to snatch the duck I just shot?¿
<><><><><><><><> ¿Thought we¿d save you a dunk in the river to get your bird!¿ Said Mr. Hanson. The man then tells the dog to give him his duck. After a while of talking they get to know each other better and Mr. Hanson finds out that the hunter is Meriwether Lewis and he is on direct orders from none other than the president Jefferson himself. He is there in Pittsburg to get a keelboat to take it to the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Hanson just laughs and tells him that he can never make it to the Pacific Ocean. But Lewis has other plans, he wants to take the dog with him on the journey. Mr. Hanson says that he is not for sale but he has a litter of pups coming in the fall but Lewis cant wait that long. But after some reasoning he tells Lewis that he will sell him for ¿twenty dollars and not a penny less!¿
<><><><><><><><> Lewis then reaches for his purse and gives the man twenty dollars rite there on the spot. After he counted the money, Mr. Hanson hands over the rope to the dog. When Mr. Hanson is leaving, Lewis remembers an important question, ¿One thing more, sir,¿ Lewis called after him. ¿What name does this dog answer to?¿
¿Seaman,¿ Hanson replied slowly. Then he shrugged, a grin spreading across his face. ¿I named him Seaman ¿cause I knew he¿d be going to sea!¿
<><><><><><><><> Seaman always stays by Lewis¿s side everyday all day. He light up the darkest of days and always stayed by the Corps of Discovery¿s side. He brought down the biggest of beasts like a buffalo, to the smallest like squirrels and rabbits. He even faced a giant grizzly bear.
<><><><><><><><> Seaman is an excellent book. It has some drama and even some suspense. It is a good book to read up on some history about our country. Also you can learn about Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition in my history class, I found this story very interesting because of how the facts were used in Gail Karwoski's story. She has a talent of describing Seaman's every move that I was able to see the Newfoundland in my mind without the use of any pictures. She brought history back to life and made me feel like I was really there.The book illusrator's detailed pictures made me see how the unexplored land actually looked during the 1800's.I recommend this book to everyone.At my school, we have to read at least 15 'Bluebonnet books' each school year. I hope to see this book elected as one of the required readings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great story. I liked the way it turned out how seaman stayed with one of the crew members. I thought it was a good way to end the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an adult, I read this book because the author is a friend of mine. To tell the truth, I enjoyed it tremendously, for a variety of reasons. The writing is sharp and vivid, and Karwoski brings history to living , breathing--daily--life. Because of her attention to fine detail, I also learned a lot--about things like the social norms of the time, the honorable (and delightful) traits of Newfoundland dogs, and the definition/derivation of the term 'dead reckoning.' 'Seaman' is a compelling, dynamic adventure story. I highly recommend it!