cover image Daniel Boone's Great Escape

Daniel Boone's Great Escape

Michael P. Spradlin, , illus. by Ard Hoyt. . Walker, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-9581-6

Spradlin (Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen ) and Hoyt (I'm a Manatee ) deliver a thrilling adventure about famed 18th-century frontiersman Daniel Boone. The storytelling is immediate and swift: “Suddenly the woods went still.... Boone looked behind him and saw a fearsome sight. Four Shawnee warriors were riding through the trees toward him.” Gripping prose relates Boone's experiences as the Shawnee hold him captive from February to June in 1778, until he makes a daring escape to warn fellow settlers of an impending attack. Hoyt's skillful blend of close-ups and eye-level perspectives pulls readers right into the action. Maintaining the tight-as-a-drum tension, the watercolor-and-ink scenes show the escapee hightailing it through thick forests, even hiding inside a log at one point while a pursuer obliviously jumps it on horseback. Spreads with multiple vignettes emphasize the nonstop movement (Boone is said to have run day and night, barely stopping, for four days), as well as endowing the book with a contemporary, graphic-novel–style feel. An epilogue adds further dimension, pointing out that Boone was accused of treason for his initial surrender to the Shawnee. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)