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Journey Into Mohawk Country
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Journey Into Mohawk Country

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  240 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert was only twenty three when he ventured into Mohawk territory in search of the answers to some pressing questions: where were all the beaver skins that the Indians should have been shipping down the river? Was the money that should have been going into the pockets of the Dutch going to the French instead? Despite freezing temperatures and a ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by First Second (first published September 1st 2006)
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Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, ya
Welp. I didn't finish so much as I abandoned it. The text of the book is taken word for word from a 1648 journal written by a Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz von den Bogaert. He traveled from Manhattan Island to what is now upstate NY (the journey ends around where Albany now is). O'Connor has drawn images of what the travels may have looked like including historical images of what Native people were wearing, the long houses, etc.

It's an interesting concept but there are flaws. I found it diffic
Things I liked:
1. GEORGE O'CONNOR - I LOVED his picture books (Kapow and Ker-splash), and his sense of humor comes through beautifully in his illustrations.
2. Primary Sources Made Accessible - As a history buff, I love that a primary source is getting reintroduced to the public in such an approachable way.
3. Pretty Colors - Hilary Sycamore colors make this totally stunning.

Things I'm not such a big fan of:
1. Relevancy? I never really attached to the purpose of the journey. What was the goal? Whe
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an example of an unexpected but perfect pairing: the simple diary account of European's travels in Mohawk territory during the 17th C, with the charming drawings of Mr. O'Connor. Turning this into a graphic novel really adds to the narrative: it fleshes out the account without arbitrarily 'updating' it.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
A very interesting look at some of the first traders to encounter the Mohawk. The diary entries of Dutch trader Van den Bogaert are illustrated and add to this exciting story.
Lars Guthrie
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Something I do with some regularity is visit the young adult graphic novel section at the Burlingame library, where I found this. Now I'm getting it for my own library, where I'm beginning to build up a good collection of history comic books. What a great concept...actual words from Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert's account of his travels into the American wilderness in 1634-35 (some rather surreal end-of-year holidays in here) combined with illustrator O'Connor's interpretation o ...more
Dec 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. It's a graphic novel adaptation of a real diary from the 1600s. The illustrator did not change or abridge the (translated) text in any way, just illustrated it (and in some cases added a little visual speculation). It made for really fascinating reading - I hope this becomes a trend and more folks do this!
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The journal of a journey by H.M. van den Bogaert to start new relationships with the Native Americans of the Mohawk country to continue trading on beaver skins. The text is the original and it was just illustrated.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, ya, graphic
wide reading for CI546

grade level: middle school to high school

genre: historical fiction [w/ some stuff drawn directly from Van den Bogaert's journals, I believe. so a mix of fiction & non)

format: graphic novel

themes: exploration, imperialism, colonialism

cultures: dutch vs native american

school use: I don't think I would probably use this as part of my curriculum. However if I had students that I knew really connected with graphic novels and that might be struggling with more textbook narrat
I was a little hesitant about the cover and the excerpt (I thought it was a violent story that stereotyped Native Americans), but once I read the Introduction, the concept of this graphic novel sucked me in and spat me out the other side. This is a primary document, a journal written by a Dutch Trader on an expedition to feel out some of the Natives in the area that is now New York. O'Connor set it up in graphic novel style and, with the aid of research, added his own interpretation through pict ...more
Journey into Mohawk Country is based on a journal by H.M. Van den Bogaert with illustrations by George O'Connor.The diary served as a wonderful focal point for this graphic treatment. Written in the graphic novel style, the book follows a dutch trader who leaves Manhattan Island to explore Indian country in the winter of 1634. The young man meets with various Indian groups, trades tools and weapons for fur and food, and learns about the native cultures.[return][return]This well-researched book a ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Whilst I generally disapprove of liberties taken with historical personnages in books which are not clear alternate history, the purely pictoral asides and deviations from van den Bogaert's unadulterated 17th-century text are utterly charming. I read this whilst the first great hail/sleetstorms of a Northern Isles winter lashed against my windows and could not help but shudder in sympathy when the Dutch trader mentions wading frozen rivers then treking another 4 miles to the nearest native hillf ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it
One of the most interesting and original graphic novel formats I've yet read, this one is an illustrated journal of a 23-year-old Dutch trader who sets off into northern New York (New Amsterdam then) in the winter of 1634 to improve beaver pelt trade relations with the Mohawk branch of the Iroquois. The illustrator did not abridge or change any entries in the journal kept by this trader, so basically this graphic novel is a primary document illustrated. He takes some liberties with the illustrat ...more
Irene Carracher Kistler
Such an unusual premise: take a primary source document from 1634 and add graphics to support the text. In this case, the journal entries of 23-year old Dutch trader Mssr. Van den Bogaert. O'Connor takes this otherwise difficult read, due to the historical cadence of the language, and brings it to life. I was mesmerized and I really studied the pictures as I read. The facial expressions add so much to the historical narrative. O'Connor makes the people come alive. Mohawk country was alternativel ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Once I realized this was a graphic adaptation of an actual journal written 400 years ago I had to read it. The journal itself is something I probably never would have picked up, though I do love history, so the fact that I did so is an indication of George O'Connor's skill. The journey didn't hold much relevance to me and I found myself feeling as if the characters were walking in circles. I think a little more backstory to this one would have helped my understanding tremendously. However, the j ...more
Katy Wilmotte
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful and unexpected find on the library shelves. In his delightful drawings, O'Connor breathes life into what otherwise would have been a bare-bones account of a Dutch trader's journey into the Mohawk country to strike a new treaty between the Dutch and the Mohawk. I especially loved his willingness to read between the lines and imagine what might have been taking place while his Dutch co-author wrote down his daily record. Whether he is correct or not, it is a brilliant exercise in ...more
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. It is a wonderful graphic novel that brings to life the journal of Dutchamn Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaertin and his travels through Iroquois country in 1634. I loved how it was arranged with simple journal entries and notes and then graphically illustrated to support the original writing. I have read other graphic novels of historical events and they sometimes embellish the story so much that it becomes more like historical fiction than non-fiction. Check this ...more
Nov 30, 2008 added it
Shelves: wmslibrary, graphic
It's fascinating to read words from 1634 that have been given a contemporary, human feel thanks to the illustrations. I felt that this book engages you in thinking about racism and imperialism, while also being very funny at times. It would be great to find ways to use this in teaching American history (thinking about history and point of view in general).
Kitty Red-Eye
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating! 1634-35, what a different world.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

This...was a very corky read. I kinda want to learn Dutch so I could read the original journals that the novel used. It is said to be a direct copy of the translation but I am SHOCKED at the lack of racism towards indigenous people which I know existed then. I also loved the cute background romance going on in the pictures and it really did give you a sense of the giving and helping was between settlers and indigenous peoples.
Adrianna Ibrahim
I love the idea behind this book: take a historical, primary source like a diary and turn it into a graphic novel for maximum accessibility. It should be great, right? Well, O'Connor definitely did his due diligence and researched the heck out of Van Den Bogaert, but all the research in the world cannot make the source material more interesting. The story was easy enough to follow, but I feel I would have been more interested/benefited from more context in the introduction or maybe footnotes. Gr ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to put things in perspective. This book was written based on the verbatim of what the original explorer wrote, and then enhanced with the art the authors thought would add to the story. Hence, it seems dry, but it is really a fascinating historical perspective.
Sara Lissa Paulson
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
visualizes in a responsible way that first encounter that led to our new york cultural world today....can you imagine walking in buckled, heeled Dutch shoes across an icy river??? It is risible and there is no lack of humor and humanity here. On all sides.
Joseph Young
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Felt like an animated social studies chapter, but without the extra side facts about the rest of the world to give context about the situation.
Dane Divine
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved what they'd done with this old manuscript. The images made it funny, wry and interesting.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, graphic-novels
Admittedly problematic in many ways, I do think this is a solid book.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting and quick read. George O'Connor always impresses me.
Dani Shuping
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This brightly illustrated novel tells readers the story of a Dutchman’s, Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaer, journey into Mohawk Country for a trading mission and some of the settlements and people he encountered along the way. Adapted straight from Van den Bogaer’s journey, O’Connor creates a tale that is easy for readers to get into and see not only aspects of the Mohawk culture, but how they interacted with traders. O’Connor does an excellent job of not only adapting the material at hand and pr ...more
This is a cool graphic novel because it is an actual journal. This novel is not based on Harmen Meyndertsz von den Bogaert’s journey but the text is the exact text from his journal. That tells us a lot about the author George O’ Connor, he’s brilliant. Yes, it is translated but we get the actual journal, with pictures, how awesome?
As a reader, I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel because since it is just a journal so there’s no real action or aim of the story. It was still interestin
Jul 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Van den Bogaert, H. & O’Conor, G. (2006). Journey into Mohawk country. New
York: First Second.
Nonfiction. This book was translated from Dutch into English. It is an illustrated version of the actual journal of a young Dutch trader, Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, who in 1634 journeyed into the land of the Iroquois Native Americans of what is now New York State. The Iroquois controlled the trade routes, and van den Bogaert was seeking to bolster the Dutch trade of much-valued beaver pelt
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I've become a fan of George O'Connor, so it was interesting to read this pre-Olympians title. His general idea is intriguing: to illustrate a primary document and bring to life one Dutch trader's diary of his journey into "Mohawk Country." I had lots of questions while I was reading: what's the value of this? why should I believe his pictorial deviations from the text? is this really what the Mohawk looked like? I guess the best use of this text would before history students to use it is an alte ...more
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George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He's also the author/illustrator of a new picture book, If I Had a Raptor.
He lives in
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