Sunday, January 22, 2006
I am Sacajawea, I am York: Our Journey West with Lewis and Clark
Murphy, Claire Rudolf. 2005. I AM SACAJAWEA, I AM YORK: OUR JOURNEY WEST WITH LEWIS AND CLARK. Ill. by Higgins Bond. New York: Walker. ISBN 0802789196 [Suggested Grade Levels 2-5]
I AM SACAJAWEA, I AM YORK is told from the perspective of two people who accompanied the Lewis and Clark exploration team: a Native American woman (Sacajawea) and an African American man (York). The text shows how both narrators saw things:
Sacajawea- “The children chase the man called York and try to rub off his earth-colored skin . . . I am glad the he . . . will stay the winter” (5).
York- “Sacajawea is a smart woman. She collects wild [vegetables] to cook with [our] hunt[ed] game . . . [When] a strong gust of wind blows and . . . almost tips over Capn’s boat, Sacajawea leans over the side and snatches supplies and capn’s journals out of the water” (12).
Murphy shows that both York and Sacajawea have respect for one another and that Lewis and Clark respect them as well. In fact, Murphy notes that both York and Sacajawea are given a vote in where to build the winter fort (28). The captivating illustrations bring the story to life; readers feel as if they are part of the journey. Told from viewpoints of individuals not often known of on the Western journey of Lewis and Clark, I AM SACAJAWEA, I AM YORK, makes a unique perspective on history known.
Readers can pick a scene from the story and act it out (as a still tableau) or create a 3-D visual representation (a diorama).
Other books about Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea:
Roop, Peter and Connie. SACAJAWEA: GIRL OF THE SHINING MOUNTAINS. ISBN 0786813237
Smith, Roland. THE CAPTAIN’S DOG: MY JOURNEY WITH THE LEWIS AND CLARK TRIBE. ISBN 0152026967
By Paige A. Poe