• Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Taking a rare look beyond the myths and legends surrounding Sacagawea’s life, this extraordinary illustrated history recounts the known facts about a remarkable woman and her contribution to one of America’s greatest journeys of exploration. Combining beautifully wrought oil paintings, a moving true story, and a unique larger format, Sacagawea will captivate readers of all ages. Kidnapped from her Shoshone tribe when she was just eleven or twelve, Sacagawea lived with her captors for four years before being given in marriage to a French Canadian fur trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau. With him, she served as interpreter, peacemaker, and guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Northwest in 1805-1806. Braving hunger and fierce blizzards, Sacagawea traveled thousands of miles with a baby on her back. By the end of the legendary journey, Sacagawea’s steadfast courage and capable guidance had ensured her place in history.

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity
Copyright 2003
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 5.0
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007120, JNF007050, JNF025200
Dewey 978.004'9745'0092
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11.75
Lexile 840
ATOS Reading Level 5.0
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 77900
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Awards and Reviewed

Author: Lise Erdrich

Lisa Erdrich was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and grew up in North Dakota. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain band of Plains-Ojibway. In addition to being a writer, she has worked in Indian health and education for many years.

Illustrator: Julie Buffalohead

Julie Buffalohead began her art studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and received her MFA from Cornell University. Of Ponca heritage, she spent the majority of her time at Cornell researching the traditional artwork of Native American people. Buffalohead's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


  • CBC Children's Choices, Winner, 2003
  • Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Award, Winner, 2003
  • Carter G. Woodson Book Award, Winner, 2003
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2003
  • ILA Teacher's Choices, Winner, 2003



“The unforgettable full-page oil paintings, in warm earth colors, focus on the brave young woman, showing her roots, her extraordinary skills, her melancholy, and her bond with her child and with Clark.”

Library Media Connection

“As I was reading this book I wondered how the author could put so many relevant and interesting facts into such a short amount of space and still have room for large, colorful artwork. It provokes a feeling of admiration for what she lived throuh . . .”
Library Media Connection

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Erdrich combines known historical fact with accessible storytelling. . . The narrative is interspersed with small but telling details that give concrete insight into the trials and triumphs of everyday life, as well as an unintrusive sense of historical context.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books