Thursday, March 13, 2008

Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer

DOWN THE COLORADO: JOHN WESLEY POWELL, THE ONE-ARMED EXPLORER; Deborah Kogan Ray; New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007, unpaged. Non-Fiction.
Deborah Kogan Ray's equally impressive text and illustrations bring John Wesley Powell brilliantly to life in her new picture book/biography for children. Anyone who grew up in the West will know what Major Powell is famous for--running and mapping the Colorado River, but do you know how he lost his arm? (Shot in the wrist at the Battle of Shiloh, his infected arm had to be amputated?) Or did you know that after his adventures on the Colorado he was the director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology and of the U. S. Geological Survey simultaneously. Down the Colorado is an impressive biography of an extraordinary man. A helpful chronology and bibliography are appended.

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