cover image Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea's Story

Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea's Story

Peter Roop, Connie Roop. Hyperion Books, $14.99 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0492-4

The authors of Off the Map: The Journals of Lewis and Clark return to the story of those explorers' famous expedition, this time imagining the point of view of Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark's Shoshoni guide. Sacagawea is kidnapped by a neighboring tribe at age 11, then married off to a white trader. Shortly after the birth of her first son, Pomp, 15-year-old Sacagawea and her translator husband join the captains and their crew on their long, arduous journey west. Sacagawea secretly plans to abandon the party once she reaches her native village, but after spending months weathering hardships--illnesses, near drownings, attacks by grizzly bears, plagues of mosquitoes--her loyalties gradually shift. Sacagawea's detailed observations of nature (""I truly loved these tall white birds with their black wing tips. Their calls echoed over the river like the distant whooping of hunters jubilant after a successful hunt"") and her practice of survival skills offset a certain patness in the diction (""My heart soared like the eagle"") and provide insight into the discoveries and tribulations of both settlers and Native Americans. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)