On the pages of this black-and-white graphic novel, Nick Bertozzi brings to vivid life Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's harrowing—and, at times, hilarious—journey westward from St. Louis, Missouri.
Appointed and funded by President Jefferson himself, and led by a cadre of experts (including the famous Sacajawea), the expedition was considered a success almost before it had begun. From the start, the journey was plagued with illness, bad luck, unfriendly Indians, Lewis’s chronic depression, and, to top it all, the shattering surprise of the towering Rocky Mountains and the continental divide. But despite crippling setbacks, overwhelming doubts, and the bare facts of geography itself, Lewis and Clark made it to the Pacific in 1806.
The westward adventure that made their names...and sealed their fates.
This important and often retold episode from U.S. history—the scientific exploration, federally supported by President Jefferson, to find a water route from the Missouri to the Pacific—receives an accessible, humorous, and accurate rendering by cartoonist Bertozzi (Houdini: The Handcuff King, 2007). Relying on good research and his own clarified sense of what these historical figures might have felt, Bertozzi shows us Lewis’ depressive psyche, Jefferson’s devotion to scientific inquiry, Clark’s mediation skills, the slave York’s self-perception, Sacajawea’s role and personal considerations, and the attitudes, fears, and certainties of the general populaces of the exploration party, Native American villages, and white townspeople. The small, black-and-white panels provide clear and action-packed detail as well as insightful poses and facial expressions. The different languages being spoken and even hand signs are creatively distinguished by different balloon outlines. An excellent supporting choice for the American history curriculum and a fun and edifying read in itself. -- Booklist
Written and illustrated by Nick Bertozzi