One way to make history come alive is through historical novels. Knowledge Quest has published a novel in four episodes about Sacagawea. Sacagawea (Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) by Karla Akins is the complete edition and is available in Kindle format from Amazon for $4.97. I received a PDF copy of the combined edition to review.
Sacagawea chronicles the life of Sacagawea from her capture, how she came to be married to a Frenchman, her travels with the Lewis and Clark expedition, and finally the adoption of her son by Clark, birth of a new baby and her death. It is told in a very conversational tone with a lot of dialogue. More than just a novel about her life, Sacagawea is interactive! The eBook contains links throughout to various articles, museum websites, and definitions of terms. These links enable the reader to better understand what life might have been like for Sacagawea. For example, at one point Sacagawea eats “white apples.” This is what Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals. They were referring to a prairie turnip. The eBook linked to a page with pictures and further information about how “white apples” would have been used in Sacagawea’s time.
I read this story aloud to my children over the course of several days. It is 16 chapters long and makes a good read-aloud. I read from the computer and we would click on the links that interested us. The story was very engaging and I enjoyed reading it. I don’t know how much my children go out of it, but they enjoyed the story and the looking at various links.
According to Knowledge Quest, this book is intended for 10+. I believe this is a good guideline if your student is a little more mature. I was a little concerned with the amount of physical abuse Sacagawea endured at the hands of her husband and captors depicted in the story. I think that the deeper topics regarding relationships, what Sacagawea might have thought or felt, and inter-tribal relationships were mostly ignored by my children. I recommend this for middle school+. I definitely suggest reading it with your student and discussing it together. This book will pair very well with a unit study on the Lewis and Clark expedition, the westward expansion, a study of the Pacific Northwest, or just as part of American History in the early 1800s.
Everyone has different experiences, so be sure to check out other reviews of Sacagawea as well as the reviews for the Timeline Builder App from Knowledge Quest.