Written by Joseph Bruchac
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

The eagerly anticipated paperback edition of this acclaimed story of the Bird Woman of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) is here. The adventure often called the American Odyssey is beautifully told in alternating chapters by William Clark and a grown up Sacajawea to her young son, Jean Baptiste, who becomes a man of both worlds, a person who bridges cultures. His bright, inquisitive nature is reflected in his devoted mother’s attentions as well as the delight William Clark takes in his “dancing boy.”

Sacajawea was kidnapped, sold, and married to a French Canadian trapper before she served as translator, guide, and peacemaker on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, all the while with a baby in her care. In one of the great coincidences of history, when the expedition is in desperate need of horses, the person who can help them is Sacajawea’s brother, who had become chief.

Dangers abound, as do misunderstanding and quarrels with each other and the native people the Corps of Discovery encounters. But there are also moments of peace and joy and great wisdom which Clark and Sacajawea impart to her beloved son through the story of the journey they shared. Highly recommended. Ages 12 and up.