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SeaMan: The Dog Who Explored The West With Lewis & Clark (A Peachtree Junior Publication) Paperback – Special Edition, April 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Sometime in the summer of 1803, Meriwether Lewis paid the huge sum of $20 for a Newfoundland dog that he named Seaman. This animal participated in one of the great adventures in American history and became part of the written record of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He is mentioned nearly 30 times in the diaries of the two captains and even had a creek named after him. Once young readers begin this fictional account of the dog's role in the expedition, they will be caught up in the drama and action and even reluctant readers will find it just too good to put down. By concentrating on the interaction of the dog with the members of the Corps of Discovery, Karwoski humanizes the men and woman of the expedition, but she is guilty of trying to soften the historical realities. York is introduced by Clark as his "servant" rather than his slave. Also, readers will be hard-pressed to come away with a clear understanding of Sacagawea. This book does convey a strong sense of the adventure without sentimentalizing her relationship with Clark or without concentrating too much on the sense of rugged individualism and Manifest Destiny. Interwoven with the story is information about protein shortages, problems with vermin and bugs, and the dangers of having an unskilled braggart as a boatsman. The text is accompanied by two useful maps and Watling's black-and-white drawings that are captioned by the original entries from the men's journals.
Dona J. Helmer, Montana State University, Billings, MT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Based on a true story gleaned from period journals, this historical novel dramatizes the story of Seaman, the Newfoundland dog that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition. Along the way, Seaman befriends a member of the Corps of Discovery and proves itself to be a valuable contributor to their happiness and success. Despite the occasional passage of information-laden conversation, the story flows well. The appended author's note separates fact from fiction to some extent and tells what happened to the main characters after the events in the book. James Watling's many handsome, shaded-pencil drawings will help readers visualize the setting, hardships, and dramatic moments of the story; and two maps will enable them to follow the explorers' route. An effective, fictional introduction to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Carolyn Phelan