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My Travels with Capts. Lewis and Clark

Review

My Travels with Capts. Lewis and Clark

Kate McMullan's MY TRAVELS WITH CAPTS. LEWIS AND CLARK, BY GEORGE SHANNON is an excellent piece of historical fiction. McMullan accurately relates the happenings of the Lewis and Clark expedition through the unique format of journal entries.

McMullan's protagonist is George Shannon, a young boy who joins the expedition after running away from his mean uncle, where he was apprenticed. George has no real experience either at sea or in hunting, but he has a spark that captures Captain Lewis. It also helps George that Seaman, the huge dog belonging to Lewis, takes an instant liking to George. The journal entries detail how Lewis and Clark picked their men to accompany them on their expedition, their meetings with different Native American tribes, the trials that they faced on the expedition, and how they handled life on the boat.

George Shannon is an honest narrator. When he must witness other expedition members being tried for mistakes they made, he expresses how difficult it is for him to see humans being whipped, even though he knows they committed wrongdoings. George has an engaging way of telling stories in his journal entries, and readers will appreciate the fact that he is saving the journal to give to his mother one day. This shows a strong sense of family, even though they are miles apart physically.

History buffs will especially enjoy this book, as the details of the expedition are minute and thorough. An added historical bonus is that George Shannon was a real person who followed Lewis and Clark on their expedition, and was in fact an ancestor of the author, Kate McMullan. But fans of any genre will enjoy this work. The journal entries are short and engaging, and readers will feel a sense of accomplishment as they tear through the pages of this fascinating book.

Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer on August 10, 2004

My Travels with Capts. Lewis and Clark
by George Shannon

  • Publication Date: August 10, 2004
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 006008099X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060080990