SACAGAWEA by Judith St. George


Age Range: 11 - 13
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 So little is known of Sacagawea's life before or after the Lewis and Clark Expedition that its story and hers are virtually the same, but St. George (To See with the Heart, 1996, etc.) enhances her account of the journey's oft-told incidents and accomplishments with a character portrait based on research and her own intuition. St. George does not invent dialogue, but recreates scenes, such as Sacagawea's childhood capture by Minnetaree raiders, and suggests thoughts and attitudes: that Sacagawea would have marveled at the oddly regimented habits of the explorers and the way they continued to regard her people as children despite all evidence to the contrary; and that she lost her fear of them by watching them celebrate Christmas. As Sacagawea's pivotal role as translator, provisioner, and peacemaker is clearly laid out, she takes on a heroic cast, as a woman both savvy and wise, cool in emergencies (in sharp contrast to her no-account French-Canadian husband) and, with her newborn son, as much a comfort to the 33 members of the ``Corps of Discovery'' as she is an employee. It's a credible construct, enlivened by colorful details (``Dinner was spoiled elk, roots and rotten fish'') and supported with a sturdy bibliography (although no specific citations). (maps, not seen) (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-23161-7
Page count: 118pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997


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