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Daniel Boone

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  1,545 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
"Awarded the John Newbery Medal 'for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children' in 1940" James Daugherty has dipped his pen and his brush into our nation's most dynamic character whose life adventures are more exciting than the shadowy legend his name brings to mind. Daniel Boone was a farmer who couldn't stay put. Something was always pulling ...more
Hardcover, 108 pages
Published January 26th 1971 by Viking Children's Books (first published 1939)
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mitchell k dwyer
Mar 30, 2008 mitchell k dwyer rated it did not like it
A biography about a person like Daniel Boone could try to tell you what he did or to tell you who he was. In such a short space as this, those are really the author's only two options. An especially skilled writer might be able to give you a really strong sense of who the person is by way of telling everything he did, but James Daugherty was not that writer.

This thing reads like an unending list of exploits with almost no dialog and far, far too many names and places. Cornelia Meigs does the sa
There is not one positive review of this long-forgotten book on Goodreads, and after giving it a whirl, I am sadly going to have to agree. The illustrations are horribly racist and have the potential to give small children nightmares with their depictions of Indians as "savages" with gleaming, monster-like eyes wielding tomahawks with their bare chests painted wildly. Daniel Boone is not depicted as a real person, he is depicted as a legendary god-like figure who deserves every bit of worship ...more
Phil Jensen
Jan 14, 2016 Phil Jensen added it
Recommends it for: bad literature aficionados, McGonagall fans
This is the kind of book that America just doesn't make anymore. It is a big, brawling, unapologetic, overblown paean to Manifest Destiny. Daugherty approaches his subject with lusty, overwrought prose that shows no fear of syntax or awkwardly chosen metaphors. The man is literally unable to craft a page of text without throwing some awful boner of poor word choice or sentence composition. I'm still laughing over the description of cradles overflowing with babies or nut trees showering young ...more
May 29, 2016 Kristen rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-winners
Newbery Medal Winner--1940

I love me some frontier stories, but this wasn't as exciting as I was hoping. I's Daniel Boone! Frontier hero! Instead we just get one vague story after another of Indian massacres and hunting trips. There were a couple interesting tidbits that I learned--like that they tried to court martial Boone and that he was friends with Abraham Lincoln--but overall a not super interesting.
Stacy Mallory
Aug 22, 2015 Stacy Mallory rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-to-kids
The reviews of the this book are actually better than the book, not that the book is poorly written. Just written and illustrated at a different time. Polital Correctness has jaded peoples views of how the United States came to be. It wasn't all peaches and cream, your ancestors had to do what they could to make a life for them and their families.
This book was just "meh". I didn't hate it -- possibly because it really didn't draw that much passion from me. Actually, the thing I felt strongest about was the illustrations. Really not a fan.

I did get a little excited when "the little cavalcade of refugees wound its way sadly north to Culpeper, Virginia." That town is about < -- > this big, and it's where my mother-in-law is from. I've even been there once! So that part was interesting. Who'd have thought it a big enough place to merit

This 1940 Newbery Medal winner proves a mixed bag of historical anecdotes masquerading as serious biography by an armchair biographer who also happens to be a talented artist. The oversized format makes it awkward for adults to consider reading on their own as a serious piece of historical writing, though the starkly bold, linear drawings which illustrate the book will hold the interest of rough-and-tumble boys all right. It seems that Daugherty could not decide upo
Katharine Ott
“Daniel Boone” – written and illustrated by James Daugherty and published in 1939 by Viking Press. Once again I am happy to have experienced another great Newbery Medal winner (1940). This middle grade book is an eloquent account of the life of an American hero. “The quiet mild-mannered captain was famous all through the mountains for his cool courage and skill as an Indian fighter.” Daugherty tells a rousing story of dangerous excursions into the western frontier, the hewing of the Wilderness ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 12, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery
And, at last, I dared to read Daniel Boone. It’s a story full of wicked Indians and good-guy white settlers, full of killing and attacking. You can almost see Daniel’s halo and the devil horns of the Indians as you read the story. It is told in the vernacular of Daugherty’s time and it is undoubtedly an interesting and exciting story. Must we pull it from our shelves simply because it is chockfull of opinions and prejudices? Can it not be read as a story without vilifying either the Indians or ...more
May 03, 2014 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
I suspect this was chosen for the Newbery because of the "vigor" with which it was written, compared to most children's autobiographies, but I'll take the standard any day. (I read them by the dozen when I was a kid--mostly older ones, like this.)

Notable for the fascinatingly bizarre illustrations, but otherwise, this racist and sort of ridiculous book should probably continue to live in relative obscurity.

Daniel Boone doesn't come off too well, but my favorite part is when the author gets in a
May 12, 2012 Crystal rated it did not like it
Newbery Winner 1940

Seriously awful as a biography since it paints him as such a folk hero and not an actual person. Maybe okay as a tall tale if not for the horrific depictions of the native Americans. It set my teeth on edge. Bad enough when referencing them as red savages and similar comments, but these types of comments were just ridiculous, they "met personal tragedy of violent death with serene indifference." Really? Is that what it was?
Benji Martin
Aug 29, 2014 Benji Martin rated it did not like it
This book was only 100 pages, but what a terrible 100 pages it was. I don't even want to talk about it.
May 30, 2016 Kaia rated it did not like it
Nope. Nope. Nope.

Would give less than one star, if possible.
Karen Witzler
Apr 18, 2015 Karen Witzler rated it liked it
A childhood favorite with its uncritical view of westward expansion and the settlers.
L Frost
Nov 29, 2016 L Frost rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-winners
Written in 1939 and a Newbery winner, this is an overview of the life of Daniel Boone. There is very little dialogue which could be the author trying not to create too much of the story from his own imagination. The story also includes so many places and names I finally had to look at a map. It's important to keep in mind that this was a children's book. It was not supposed to be a well documented, overly detailed piece of adult non-fiction. The writing style fits with other books written during ...more
Francisca Darney
Sep 25, 2016 Francisca Darney rated it liked it
I teach 8th grade US history and this book really details the struggles colonist had before, during and after the revolution. Unfortunately I found it a bit boring at times and know that students will not stay engaged and read it. For a newbwerry medal winning book I expected the book to be kids friendly.
Oct 01, 2014 Kim rated it it was ok
A rhapsodic, boisterous version of the life of the American frontier legend Daniel Boone.

There is no denying that James Daugherty had an intense love of history, but this is a very uneven book for modern readers. The overly florid style certainly bogs things down, and the narrative includes the usual references to “Indian savages” and “demons” typical of the time when this book was published. (Which is probably why it is no longer in print.) In one chapter Daugherty shows some sympathy for the p
Aug 15, 2011 Jill rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-medal
I can see why some people have said this is the worst Newbery winner, but I would argue there are way too many contenders for that distinction. I had to work to find a copy of it--it is the only Newbery medal winner out of print. If it's good enough to win the medal, shouldn't it stand the test of time and be good enough to remain in print? Also, it is apparent from the ego stroking wording in his opening letter to Colonel Boone that the author has somewhat of a man-crush on him. That's fine, ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, newbery
The 1940 Newbery winner, this biography of the Kentucky frontiersman is a mixture of fact and probable legend. It tells of Boone’s life in bits and pieces, from his birth in Pennsylvania to his trapping and trading and Indian-fighting in the wilderness of Kentucky. The picture Daugherty paints is of a bluff, honest, uncompromising but friendly figure. The Boone this book gives us is a family man, patriot, and resourceful hunter, and little else. He fights against the British and the Indians, is ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it
Shelves: newbery-winners
Where do I even begin with this one? I'd been dreading reading this book, because it was an old biography, in the world of children's literature that is not a good thing. Another out-of-print Newbery winner and with good reason. It is racially charged, grumsomely graphic, and sappy. But above all those, I think that the reason this one's no longer in print is that it's boring as tar.
I know, perhaps I'm not fully enjoying the experience because I'm too old or too young; I'm too modern or I've see
Juli Anna
Sep 01, 2016 Juli Anna rated it did not like it
Ugh, just when I thought the Newberys were getting better, this happened. This book is a mess. It goes without saying that the story of Daniel Boone is going to be filled with all kinds of problematic notions of Manifest Destiny, racism, and disgustingly unquestioning patriotism, but this was even worse than I imagined. The author neatly sums up the entire story at one point with this awful sentence: "The spirits of the forest were beaten and the white gods prevailed."

But on top of the hideous,
Oct 13, 2014 Ron rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-winners
My last Newbery medal winner to read and quite possibly, the worst of the lot. The writing in this book is clearly dated and I don't think I'd want my kid reading some of what is said in the book. Here's a brief passage:

We pursued them until we got near the house, when we saw a squaw sitting in the door, and she placed her feet against the bow she had in her hand, and then took an arrow, and raising her feet she drew with all her might and let fly at us and she killed a man, whose name I believe
Feb 20, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
Unimpressive writing style – DB himself is very sparsely mentioned in the beginning, and when he is mentioned, it’s very much as if he’s a tall tale figure. If I’d read this book as a child, I don’t think I would have realized Boone was a REAL person in history, despite the book’s shelving in the biography section and Daugherty’s preface.
The illustrations of any men are very savage – the Indians moreso, contributing to the general idea of Indians at the time. The descriptions of war & viole
Of all the early Newbery titles I've read, this was the most racist and appalling in terms of content and tone. In fact, I was shocked (though I probably shouldn't have been) at the blatant acceptance of "Indians are savages and white people are saviors." Never will I ever give this book to a modern child, as there HAVE to be more balanced biographies of Daniel Boone out there.

To make matters worse in my reading horror, the book in question could have been photographed and sent to "Awful Library
Oct 23, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
1939 Daniel Boone by James Daugherty(The Viking Press)
Newberry Award Winner
Informational Book

In the introduction the author writes a letter to Daniel Boone. "You never had any legal claim on Kentucky. You were not a leader of business enterprise like Mr. Henderson. You belonged to the Indian and the buffalo. You gave all and received nothing. Your were a romantic. You neglected your opportunities to get in on the ground floor. You were a free singing rider in a lost dream. Bus you kept your rend
Carl Nelson
Aug 17, 2014 Carl Nelson rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-winners
1940 Newbery Medal recipient.

While it has the benefit of historical accuracy on its side, especially with a surprisingly even recounting of the white man's continuous duplicity in dealing with the Indian tribes, the author's predilection for florid prose means that this book has very little chance of revealing any insight about Daniel Boone. Long passages extol the vigor of Boone's character in the finest hagiographic fashion, as well as providing a look at the attitudes driving colonialism and
Nov 24, 2016 Carolyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: newbery-medal
Daniel Boone. James Daugherty. 1940 #Newbery Heroic white nationalist stories of genocide in the #USA. Violently racist & dehumanizing.

Reviewed @reallyReads
Thomas Bell
Apr 24, 2015 Thomas Bell rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-winners
Well, I learned some stuff about Daniel Boone, so more than 1 star - but not much more.

The book was quite racist, calling the Native Americans 'Red Varmints' and worse. The book also acts as if it is just well-known that those races aren't quite capable of becoming more than savages. It's just who they are.

Also, the book praises certain qualities in Daniel Boone, like he is adventurous enough to leave his wife behind for an extra year because he wants more furs and she'll understand when he show
Dec 31, 2013 Debbie added it
74 1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking)

Aug. 19, 2013 95

This is a biography of Daniel Boone. It is filled with references to fighting with the Indians and is troublesome to read in 2013. The story shows how our country was settled into the west of Kentucky and then the west past the Mississippi into St. Louis. It mentions George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Lewis & Clark and Audubon.

I would be uncomfortable reading it to a classroom.

My personal Newbery scale:

Meaning historical
Oct 28, 2009 Janis rated it did not like it
The opening paragraphs offered an immediate and amusing profile of pioneer family life, so I thought I was in for a treat with this 1939 juvenile biography of Daniel Boone. But I quickly grew weary of the author's dramatic prose style, a style which did not make up for the fact that he told very little of Boone's story. Add to that pointless name-dropping and unreferenced quotes, assumptions of reader knowledge (really, did children know that "the little Corsican dictator" meant Napolean?), and ...more
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