From School Library Journal
Grade 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-8. In this well-illustrated, large-format book, Patent provides a succinct narrative account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, beginning with a realistically harsh, you-are-there introduction to life with the Corps of Discovery. Among the many books on the subject appearing in time for the bicentennial of that event, including Patent's Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark
(2002), this one distinguishes itself by incorporating information about how the land, rivers, vegetation, wildlife and trails today differ from what Lewis and Clark saw 200 years ago. Each double-page spread focuses on a specific topic, such as "Meeting the Sioux" or "The Great Falls," and most are introduced with a small map and a journal entry by Lewis, Clark, or another expedition member. The full-color illustrations will include maps, present-day photos, and reproductions of the period. A well-written presentation of the topic. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved