First Steamboat Down the Mississippi

George S. Fichter, Author, Joe Boddy, Illustrator Pelican Publishing Company $14.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-88289-715-8
Tim, a 14-year-old deckhand, is among the crew on the first steamboat to travel up and down the Mississippi. Through his journey, readers learn the facts of the trip--about Nicholas Rossevelt, who built the steamboat, and his pregnant wife, who insisted on having her baby on board . Also mentioned are the odd events of 1811, several of which were chalked up to the sighting of the mysterious comet now called Halley's. While Fichter delivers much of the intrigue of the voyage, and reveals fascinating side notes, his hero never becomes more than an idealized device. Tim is noble in the extreme, and because of the way events are mapped out, suspense never builds adequately. Ages 8-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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