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Sacajawea

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  11,058 ratings  ·  313 reviews
Clad in a doeskin, alone and unafraid, she stood straight and proud before the onrushing forces of America's destiny: Sacajawea, child of a Shoshoni chief, lone woman on Lewis and Clark's historic trek -- beautiful spear of a dying nation.

She knew many men, walked many miles. From the whispering prairies, across the Great Divide to the crystal capped Rockies and on to the
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ebook, 1424 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Diane Nielson
Aug 20, 2008 Diane Nielson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone willing to ride an emotional rollercoaster.
Recommended to Diane by: my mom.
Simply put, this is the most amazing story I know and the book is incredibly written. i read this very long book about 14 years ago, and I remember my mother reading it about 10 years prior to that. I still have the actual book that she and I read. It's very special to me, not just for the connection to my mother, but because the story of Sacajawea is so well depicted within it's covers. I remember laughing on one page, then sobbing to the point of having to put the book down on the next. It's d ...more
Karla
Lots of research, but simply too damn long and suffered from "author wants to put in every single thing she discovered and dramatize every little thing." It sometimes happens with these huge doorstoppers. But nice cover art by Tom Hall, as always.

For the record, I made it to page 300, but it took a few weeks to even get that far. A sad rate for the time period I read it, when I was knocking off a 500 page book every 3 days (and no skimming, either). If I had to describe this book in 3 words, it
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Melissa
This book is not for the faint of heart or those who want a quick read. At 1328 pages for just the story and an additional 61 pages of notes this is a titan of a read. But every page is well worth it.

It starts out when Sacajawea is a young girl and covers her capture and enslavement by the Mandan tribe. While with the Mandans she is subjected to rape at around age 11 (the book makes it somewhat hard to pinpoint her age at times), learns the art of glass making, and then is eventually sold off to
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Jessica Vasquez
I read this book when I was in 4th and 5th grade. I realize this book was written for adults, but I was obsessed with learning more about Sacajawea at that age. My dad said it would be okay for me to read it, so I did. It took me close to a year to complete the whole thing--but I eventually wrote a 5th grade book report on it when we were assigned to read a historical fiction piece. My teacher rewarded us with a piece of licorice for every 40 pages we read. As you can imagine, with a book over 1 ...more
John Clements
If you're up to reading this book get settled in and just accept that you're about to begin a very fruitful journey. Thoroughly researched and annotated, Waldo's SACAJAWEA is a historical epic worthy of being studied in high school history classes. But don't let that color your expectations, because this novel is also a sweeping tableaux of emotions and humanity.
Holly
I couldn't take myself away from this book. Again, I sat with my laptop looking for more pictures, maps, timelines, letters, anything I could find. This novel was an excellent bridge for me to pull together the country's infancy, westward expansion, the Mexican-American War, and the Trail of Tears. Although I have been to much of the area covered by the Lewis and Clark expedition, I would like to revisit now that I have the images described in this book to consider.
L.  (Will I Hit 400?)
I guess it isn't technically fair that I rate this book as I didn't finish it. I didn't even get to the part where Sacajawea joins Lewis and Clark, which was the whole reason I wanted to read this book in the first place. But I simply couldn't get caught up in the story as Anna Lee Waldo wrote it. I never found myself really caring for Sacajawea or what was happening to her. I'm still on the look out for a good book about this woman, but this thick novel is not it.
Kathryn Bashaar
I read this book 30 years ago and loved it. So, when I saw it was the May choice of the Historical Fictionistas, I was excited to re-read it. I didn't like it as much on the re-reading. I'm disappointed to discover that, along with everyone else in the world, my attention span has been eroded by the internet and a long, detailed book is hard for me. Also, I think this book has a Mississippi delta of a plot: meandering, sprawling and muddy. The first half, describing the L&C Expedition, is pr ...more
Jaksen
Read this book shortly after it came out.

This was what I call a 'discovery book.' I discovered it at the family summer cottage being used to hold up a window. (The window's rope pulleys had snapped, and the weights which keep the window up - or down - were permanently stuck in the window frame. Okay, it's an old family cottage.)

So the poor book, whose purpose was to keep the window from smashing down on someone's hands, was rain-stained, and some of its pages were tattered. But I liked the cover
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Jennifer
I read this book for the first time probably about 7 years ago and then reread it again about a year later. It is a fantastic book. Growing up you hear the story of Sacajawea in school but this book really puts a face to the legend. You really see things through her eyes and see what a hard journey it was. I would definitely recommend this book. Be sure to allow some time to finish it as it is over 1400 pages long -- but well worth the read.
Sue
This is my favorite book of all time. It's the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Sacajawea's point of view. Historically there are two theories about what happened to her after the expedition. One claims she died several years later, the other says she lived to a ripe old age and died in the late 1800s. This story takes the second claim and imagines what her life would have been. Excellent read for any historical fiction fan.
Brenda Vanwormer
1328pages and i was suddenly all alone when i finished this book. I've read it twice and i intend to again. Wonderful book.
Tori
It has been some time since I've read this book that I'm writing this, but I just want to say amazing. In my top 10 favorites list for sure.
I have always been sort of interested in Sacajawea, but there's not MANY facts about her out there. This novel, however, really brought her to life more than anything else to me. Now I am more absorbed in her past as I was before.
I will be re-reading this book. It was a fantastic read, and it really inspired me.
All from Sacajawea's fictional point of view, i
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Teresa
Fabulous historical fiction! Waldo spent many years reasearching to write this book and includes copious notes, which solidify the actual history and give the reader a sense of why the fictional parts weave the way they do. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I was taught about Lewis and Clark in school, but it came nowhere near the depth and breadth of Waldo's research.

Sacajawea's story runs deep: as an Indian, a woman, an intrepid traveler, a lover of peace. As I approached the last of the 1328 p
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Elle
I read this book years ago - a few times - and, having just remembered it, plan to read it again very soon. It is, quite easily, one of the best books I've ever read. I'm not sure why it's not more well known, to be honest.

I saw it billed in quite a few places as a "historical romance," which I don't particularly feel is completely accurate or completely fair. There is love and longing, certainly - but what life would be complete without these powerful emotions?

It is a powerful historical novel
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J
I think too many of my reviews start with "I love this...", but seriously, I read this in Jr High and I LOVED IT! Actually, I remember loving about 3/4s of the 1300 or so pages. The author offers a few hundred pages of an alternate ending that kind of messed with my mind as I had been sucked in, and believed every word...then my trust in the author was whisked away as she said, "Or, it could have happened this way...". Still, the book is a remarkable feat of historical biography with enough conj ...more
Heather
This is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Even at 1300+ pages, i felt so sad to see the characters go, and Sacajewea became so real to me, and her life is epic, it needed 1300 pages to get everything told!

I would recommend this to anyone passionate about history, native culture, women's rights....there's just so much in it. Some parts are hard to read-- especially some of the early cruelty that she suffered. But she rose above it all and lived a very full and quite frankly amazing li
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Bill
For American history buffs, this is a must. A painstakingly researched and beautifully written historical novel of the life of Lewis and Clark's native American guide. The actual expedition takes up a pretty large percentage of the book (and it's fascinating), but there is also a good deal of focus on her earlier life, and her fate following the trip that made her famous. As mentioned before, VERY well researched and written in a manner that brings the characters to life.
Kristi
This book is about 3 inches thick, and worth every page. Waldo enmeshes a thorough history lesson with an engrossing story. Sacajawea is an epic read and worthy of the time it takes to plow through it. I finished this book feeling as if I'd lived a whole other life in its pages, and certainly learned much about the times and the cultures of the various Indian tribes. Rated PG-13 for sex scenes that were frank but not overt.
Craig&kerri
Awesome! Reading this book gave reality to the struggles of a real woman in history. Although the book is very long, it was surprising how quickly I zipped through it. A definite good read for anyone interested in history or specifically about the Lewis & Clark expedition or the life of Sacajawea. The book does a great job at characterizing her and makes her come to life just as if you were actually there as a witness.
David Koblos
A massive, massive read, and not very captivating at that. First I was quite excited about it, expecting deep insights into Native American life from a feminist angle. And it is all there, but not nearly as exciting or colorfully described as I hoped it would be. The Lewis and Clark expedition was a let-down in a way, going from discomfort to hardship, and back. The latter part of the book includes so many things, places, events, and always from such a distance that I did not find much joy in th ...more
Rob
Waldo uses historical sources to set the context for a fabulous story of the life of this great American heroine. Set against the magnificent panoply of the 19th century west, Sacajawea's life unfolds with incredible tragedy and triumph that underscore the larger story of the slaughter and conquest of the Native Americans. A moving, albeit lengthy, book.
Brittany
I am typically not a huge fan of historical fictions. Most times, they are loosely based off of events, using creative license to change the past to fit the plot better. For some reason, that irks me. Sacajawea, however, is different. So different that it is one of the few historical fictions that have a gigantic bibliography in the back, plus historical notes.

The writing style can be a little superfluous, especially the last few chapters. It was an engaging read though. Anna Lee Waldo portraye
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Jenny GB
Wow, is this a massive read. I wouldn't recommend starting this one unless you're going to be invested in it. Waldo's book about Sacajawea attempts to tell her whole life story not just the famous expedition that Sacajawea was a part of as a young woman The style of writing is very slow and methodical. There's definitely no page turner here. The author is fond of telling you what is happening rather than letting it be revealed through dialogue. That being said, I think it was meticulously resear ...more
Amber
This book was big, and at times hard to get through. It was also incredibly intresting to read about all that Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea encounted while exploring the territories we received in the Louisianna Purchase.
Stephanie
An absolutely amazing narrative of this extraordinary woman. I truly believe that Lewis and Clark would never have survived if not for her. She had a hard life. It will make you appreciate women's rights.
Cathy
Great book, every single page of it, even though it was over 1300 pages long. Prompted a search for her grave out west while on a family vacation. Historical fiction at its best.
Cyndi
I read this as a teenager and couldn't put it down. It places you right alongside Lewis and Clark and takes you on the epic journey across the new world.
Nikki
This book is dry, boring and reads like a non-fiction book. I'm passing!
Anna Ligtenberg
ISBN 0380842939 - As a kid, I planned to be Sacajawea when I grew up; books about her remain high on my list of interests. This book is fiction: this matters because I think it impacts how you read it. It is also huge, not quite 1400 pages: the text is 1326 pages - notes and bibliography take it to 1408. Those last 82 pages lend some credibility to the thought that the book is NOT fiction, a negative to me, as are the utterly useless maps that are too small to read. Almost worth every hour it ta ...more
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Anna Lee Waldo wrote the best-selling historical novel, SACAJAWEA. Her interest in the subject began as a child when she collected spear points on the shores of Whitefish Lake in Montana and listened to stories of Blackfeet and Crow grandmothers.

It took her ten years to write about the first woman to go with a military contingent, with a baby in a cradleboard, half way across the North American co
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More about Anna Lee Waldo...
Circle of Stones Circle of Stars Prairie, Volume I: The Legend of Charles Burton Irwin and the Y6 Ranch Prairie Sacajawea Part 1

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