Reviews for Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early Americans Took to the Road

Booklist Reviews 2007 December #1
Written in a style more folksy than authoritative, the fourth biography in the Cheryl Harness History series offers children an introduction to Daniel Boone as an American pioneer, hunter, explorer, fighter, and family man. Black-and-white illustrations in ink and pencil appear on every page, from double-page maps and full-page pictures to small spot drawings. Harness traces Boone's story geographically as well as historically in the first four chapters, entitled "Pennsylvania," "North Carolina," "Kentucky," and "Missouri." The fifth chapter, "On the Go," presents a collection of loosely connected facts relating to the history of transportation in colonial America. Though occasionally vivid, the colloquial writing style sometimes distracts from Harness' main points. A band running along the bottom of most pages carries a detailed, illustrated chronology of events occurring in America and the world during the span of Boone's life (1734-1820). There are no source notes, but lists of books and historical sites are appended. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Harness's lively narrative follows Boone's life as he journeys through frontier lands of North Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri, battling Indians and helping settle the wilderness. Intricate illustrations (some muddy) and an extensive timeline of world events that runs along the bottom of each page contribute to the story but complicate the format. A chronology of Boone's life is appended. Reading list. Bib., ind. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 February

Gr 5-8-- Harness's panoramic approach to her subject is overwhelmed by too much background information and a lack of focus. The busy design includes full-page and spot pen-and-ink drawings and a running illustrated time line across the bottoms of most spreads. The spot art is tiny and requires close scrutiny and the hand-drawn maps are cluttered and difficult to read. The rambling text makes it challenging to follow Boone's life story. Discussions about the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812 are complicated and it is difficult to discern what Boone's role was in these events. The last chapter, "On the Go," which covers modes of travel from the beginning of roads in America to present-day highways, seems an afterthought and not relevant to the rest of the text.--Kristen Oravec, Stephen S. Wise Elementary School, Los Angeles

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