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Nick Bertozzi lives in Queens, New York, with his wife and daughters. He is the author and/or artist of many other cartoon stories, among them The Salon, Houdini: The Handcuff King, and First Second’s Stuffed!
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