SACAJAWEA

The Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the northwest part of the American continent probably would not have ever been completed without the help of the young Shoshone woman Sacajawea. She and her sister, Otter Woman, were kidnapped from their tribe and kept captive by the Minetarees, a tribe that had been influenced in language and customs by its years of contact with French and English traders. Sacajawea picked up the ability to speak the whites’ languages—a skill that stood her in good stead five years later when a French trader, Toussaint Charbonneau, won her and Otter Woman from their Minetaree captor. Charbonneau married the young Sacajawea, and they had a son. Soon after, Charbonneau was hired by Lewis and Clark to accompany their expedition in its next phase along the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean—and Charbonneau was invited to bring his family along. This was wonderful news to Sacajawea, whose great dream was to be united once again with her Shoshone family. Much has been written about Sacajawea’s role in the expedition, how she and her child disarmed even the most hostile Indians and how her skill in languages, along with her ability to find food, kept them all going through the severe rigors of the long trip. The story in this book is told in alternative voices by Sacajawea and William Clark, the co-leader of the expedition, giving an added dimension to the tale and helping to clarify much of what happened along the way. Couched in Bruchac’s elegant prose, this epic tale of courage and endurance is both a grand adventure story and an inspiration that is not to be missed. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-202234-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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STORMBREAKER

What if James Bond had started spying as a teenager? This thriller pits 14-year-old Alex Rider against a mad billionaire industrialist. Non-stop action keeps the intrigue boiling as Alex tries to stop the remarkably evil Herod Sayles from murdering Britain’s schoolchildren through biological warfare. Alex begins as an innocent boy shocked by the death of his Uncle Ian in a traffic accident. Suspicious of the official explanation, he investigates and finds Ian’s car riddled with bullet holes. He narrowly escapes being crushed in the car as it’s demolished, then climbs out of a 15-story window to break into Ian’s office. He learns that Ian was a spy, and reluctantly joins Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency. After surviving brutal training and armed with stealthy spy tools, Alex infiltrates Sayles’s operation as the teenage tester of the “Stormbreaker,” a new computer Sayles is giving to British schools. Thereafter he survives murderous ATV drivers, an underwater swim in an abandoned mine, and an encounter with a Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish before hitching a ride on an already airborne plane. The plot is, of course, preposterous, but young readers won’t care as they zoom through numerous cliffhangers. This is the first book in a series planned by the author, and may prove useful for reluctant readers looking for excitement. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-399-23620-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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