Pacific Bound:
The Adventures of Lewis & Clark

by Lauri Olsen
(Gossamer, 2005)

If the title doesn't say it well enough, Pacific Bound: The Adventures of Lewis & Clark follows the events concerning the Northwest Expedition from spring 1804 to autumn 1806. The central character is a fictitious boy named Daniel, an errand boy in Thomas Jefferson's White House, who goes on the expedition to learn medicine from Captain Lewis. The story follows Daniel's adventures traveling up the Missouri River; meeting Sacagawea; interacting with the Sioux, Shoshones and Mandan tribes; and even a few action/suspense sequences (just to keep it exciting).

I recently reviewed another Gossamer historical-based graphic novel, Gold Mine! The California Gold Rush Story. The problem with Gold Mine! was that it was too juvenile, especially with an animal providing some narration. It seemed as if Pacific Bound was going the same route, with historically accurate Seaman (Captain Lewis's Newfoundland dog), but thankfully it didn't.

The artwork and the writing are consistent and easy to follow. Some of the action sequences seemed forced, as do some of the character interactions. However, this graphic novel does a good job of outlining the expedition by Lewis & Clark. Regardless of its simplistic nature, Pacific Bound is a good effort and could serve children as a valid introduction to the great expedition.

- Rambles
written by C. Nathan Coyle
published 23 July 2005

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