Benjamin Brown and the Great Steamboat Race

From the Series History Speaks: Picture Books Plus Reader's Theater

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

In the summer of 1870, Thomas Leathers was captain of the Natchez. Captain Leathers believed it was the fastest steamboat on the Mississippi River. Captain Cannon of the Robert E. Lee offered to race the Natchez from New Orleans, Louisiana, to St. Louis, Missouri.

Twelve-year-old Benjamin Brown, a passenger on the Natchez, wants very much to win the race. But from the moment the Robert E. Lee leaves New Orleans early, it’s clear that Captain Cannon is willing to do whatever it takes for his boat to finish first. Which boat will win? And will the outcome be fair?

In the back of the book, you’ll find a script and instructions for putting on a Reader’s Theater performance of this adventure. At our companion website——you can download additional copies of the script plus sound effects, background images, and more ideas that will help make your Reader’s Theater performance a success.

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Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Copyright 2011
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2011-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.3
Text Type Fiction—Historical
Dewey 797.12'5
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 7.75 x 10.25
Lexile 670
Guided Reading Level S
ATOS Reading Level 4.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 142466
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Author/Illustrator note, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Original artwork, Pronunciation guide, Table of contents, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Author: Shirley Jordan

Shirley Jordan is an educator and author who has worked as a teacher, project manager, vice principal, and principal. She is the author of several nonfiction books for young readers.

Illustrator: Kathleen Kemly

Kathleen Kemly grew up in Michigan and went to college in NYC. Now she lives in beautiful Seattle with her husband, dogs, cats and chickens.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

History Speaks: Picture Books Plus Reader's Theater

Bring to life important stories from U.S. history with the History Speaks: Picture Books Plus Reader’s Theater. These books bring together illustrated picture books with reader’s theater scripts for students to practice fluency. In the back of each book, you’ll… View available downloads →