BIRCHBARK BRIGADE by Cris Peterson

BIRCHBARK BRIGADE

A Fur Trade History
Age Range: 10 - 16

KIRKUS REVIEW

The history of colonial-era North America is usually presented to children in terms of settlement—think Jamestown and Plymouth—but this treatment too often ignores the fascinating development and expansion of the fur trade that drove much of the European interest in the continent. Three centuries’ worth of explorers followed Columbus in search of a Northwest Passage to the riches of the Orient; they (finally) found the Pacific and also, more importantly, a treasure trove of beaver pelts along the way. Peterson first provides a history of the military, political and economic development of the trade and then gives readers a snapshot of the lives of the Indians and voyageurs who did the actual work. She relies on a wealth of primary-source material, from archival illustrations to quotes from players both large and small. Sidebars (some oddly placed—“Beavers” appears halfway through) provide additional information on specific topics. The author’s enthusiasm for her subject will communicate itself to readers, even those who never dreamed they’d be interested, making this the best kind of discovery. (time line, notes, bibliography, suggested reading, places to visit, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-426-6
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009




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