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Streams to the River, River to the Sea Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Once again O'Dell turns to the Native American for his subject, and in this novel he brings to life the mysterious Shoshone girl Sacagawea, interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark. Told from Sacagawea's point of view ,this is an honest, unsparing account of Indian life and the approaching whites. From the beginning, Sacagawea is calm and practical but fiercely independent; these attributes enable her to survive the succession of traumas that will prepare her for Lewis and Clark. Forced into marriage with a French trader, she is then hired with her husband by Lewis and Clark for her knowledge of the Shoshone language and lands. Sacagawea's narration of their trek often becomes unbearably agonizing as both she and her infant son are nearly killed several times. But her journey to the great sea is not only physical. It is a spiritual journey as well, as she matures in wisdom and in her love for William Clark. Finally, having been offered the white world and Clark's love, she turns away, back to her Shoshone life. This is as quiet and intriguing a re-creation as Sacagawea herself.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up Those familiar with what is known of Sacagawea from mentions of her in the journals of Lewis and Clark may be troubled by O'Dell's liberal fictionalizing of the known incidents in which she figured. But translating brief, expository statements into narrative scenes and dialogue necessarily requires invention of conversations, probable motives and likely actionsand O'Dell uses all of these to move this novel along. His account centers on the period of Bird Woman's involvement with the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is a suspenseful, well-paced retelling of this remarkable, true-life adventure from 1804 to 1806. Those who wish to read other versions of this story might try Winged Moccasins (Messner, 1954; o.p.) by Frances Joyce Farnsworthanother fictionalized accountor Neta Lohnes Frazier's Sacajawea, The Girl Nobody Knows (McKay, 1967; o.p.)more expository, with citation of evidence for the possibility that Sacagawea lived until 1884 and died among her people on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (May 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618966420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618966424
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott O'Dell (1898-1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Tirrell on May 1, 2002
Format: School & Library Binding
Before I read the book, I saw the PBS documentary about Lewis and Clark. After reading the book, I double checked the information with the journals of the men of the Corps of Discovery. The first mistake the book made was that it said Sacagawea had learned English, and translated for them. However, she had not learned English at this time. The true translation process worked like this: Lewis or Clark would tell someone something in English; a member of the expedition would tell it to Charbonneau in French. Charbonneau would then translate it to Sacajawea's native language, and then she would speak to the Indians they met in their native language (if she knew it.)
One of the many other problems with Scott O'Dell's version, was that he made it sound like Captain William Clark was in love with Sacagawea, and she was in love with him. There is no proof that he was in love with her, but according to the journals, he did show compassion on her by trying to protect her from Charbonneau, who would often beat her.
Overlooking many small mistakes, I also must point out that Captain Lewis's Newfoundland dog was actually stolen, where in the book, it says that Captain Lewis gave Sacagawea the dog.
The end was the most disappointing part of the book. Once they reached the place where Sacagawea and her husband had started the journey, Captain Clark came to speak to her. He basically told her what he thought of her: that he didn't love her, and that he thought of her as a child. This led her to pack up and leave-the book ends with her riding away. Away from her husband whom she hated, and Captain Clark who she thought she loved. Away to the Shoshone people she truly loved.
However, this is not very accurate. It is known that Sacagawea stayed with Charbonneau at Fort Mandan for a month or two.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bobby on March 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Streams to the River, River to the Sea: A Novel of Sacagawea, written by Scott O'Dell has 298 pages of exciting reading. Yet not all is true. This book is about the famous adventures of Lewis and Clark, but from Sacagawea's, their guide, point of view. Sacagawea was taken from her Indian tribe, the Shoshones, when she was about 12 years old. She became a slave for this new tribe, the Minnetarees, and was going to marry the chieftan's son. But after being saved by a frenchmen, she married him and became a guide for Lewis and Clark. There were many mishaps along the way. But some of this is not true. For instance, there is no written proof that Sacagawea fell in love with Clark. She may have liked him, but never as deeply as the book states. And, at the end, Lewis never gave her his dog. He kept Scannon (whose name could be Seamon for the handwriting in the journal was difficult to read) and took him back to St. Louis.

I enjoyed the book because it gave a new perspective on this famous exploration. I've only read it from Lewis and Clark's point of view. Though it was great, I didn't like certain parts of it. One, there were some untrue facts. Two, it skipped some of the more exciting parts and instead spent more time telling you about all the Indian tribes. Three, you'd have to read the book a few times before you could truly get the whole of what O'Dell is trying to get across to you. I would recommend this book if you have already read a book on Lewis and Clark's journey, because otherwise you wouldn't understand to much of what was going on. Don't read this if it's going to be your first time reading about Lewis and Clark. Hope this was helpful. Happy Reading!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Lewis and Clark's daring journey through the Louisiana Territory to the Pacific Ocean and back was created anew in the wonderful Streams to the River, River to the Sea. The book describes how Sacagawea, a young Shoshone woman, provides invaluable assistance and guidance to the Lewis and Clark expedition. When Sacagawea was a young woman, she was captured by the Minnetarees, an enemy tribe, and taken from her native village. She made a bold escape only to fall into the hands of Charbonneau, a cruel and ugly French trader whom she is forced to marry. Sacagawea has a son named Meeko soon after their marriage. Even though Sacagawea was a good wife and devoted mother, she was mistreated and abused by her husband.
While Sacagawea and her family journeyed through the Louisiana Territory, the expedition confronted many challenges such as severe cold, intense heat, sickness, and fierce enemy tribes. While the expedition traveled near the foot of the Rockies, Sacagawea met up with her blood brother and her Shoshone tribe helps the expedition in a vital way. In this story, Sacagawea learns about the true meaning of love and her place in society as a Native American. The author describes these difficulties in a vivid and adventurous way. Sacagawea's courageous and resourceful character is portrayed beautifully in this exciting and suspenseful book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on May 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a fictionalized account of two years in the life of a young Shoshone girl, called "Bird Woman" in her own tongue. Kidnapped by a raiding tribe, whose language she must learn, she is enslaved and groomed for the chief's son. Something about Sacagawea excites the interest of several warriors during the course of this story, but she is forced to marry a sly, truculent French trapper named Charbonneau, by whom she has a son at only 14.
While attempting to maintain historical accuracy (based on Clark's journals), O'Dell weaves an interesting tale of suppressed emotions, greed and jealousy, sacrifice and intrigue in wilderness America. The famous Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804/5 was commissioned to explore and document the geography, geology, flora and fauna of the newly purchased Louisiana Territory for President Jefferson. With the presumptuous claiming of Native American land as far as the
Pacific coast. This ardurous journey to the salty ocean, with her infant son on her back, was undertaken in simple faith and steadfast loyalty to the copper-haired captain. Yet the return proved a trail of unshed tears by the devoted young mother, who realized that the famous white man would never marry an Indian woman and be demeaned as a squaw man.
This story will appeal more to girls, since it is narrated in the first person by Sacagewea herself. Fort Clatsop, where the party wintered near the Washington/Oregon border, has been reconstructed for tourists interested in America's Western history. Of note: the courage of this brave Indian girl has been preserved (with son on back) in a recent commemorative coin.
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