Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sacajawea” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.24  ·  Rating details ·  14,630 ratings  ·  424 reviews
Clad ln a doeskin, alone and unafraid, she stood straight and proud before the onrushlng 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 eme
Paperback, 1424 pages
Published July 1st 1984 by Avon (first published 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sacajawea, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Gabrielle I actually read this book when i was a teenager (late middle school / early high school), and I loved it.

There are definitely some more "adult"…more
I actually read this book when i was a teenager (late middle school / early high school), and I loved it.

There are definitely some more "adult" themes/content, but I don't think it's anything that a teenager shouldn't be able to handle. I think it's the good kind of exposure, to be honest.

If I remember correctly she is kidnapped when she is young and forced into a marriage in another tribe, and I believe there is some traumatic (but light) non-consensual sex described.

I can't remember all of the specifics, but I do remember that this book had a really good and really profound influence on me. Sacajawea is a strong woman, and reading about her life from start to finish was a great experience for me at the time.

So if you haven't let her read it yet....I'd say, yes, she should totally read it.(less)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
6,072 books — 24,629 voters
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingWar and Peace by Leo TolstoyHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Thickest Books Ever
826 books — 2,569 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Diane Nielson
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jessica Vasquez
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I realize I never wrote a review for this book and it deserves such high praise. Waldo studied Sacajawea's (Shoshone Tribe) life for so long and did such a great job. It is easily in my top 10 books. It was long, 1000 pages, so I wasn't sure if I could handle it but I'm so glad I tried. I couldn't get enough of her life and how brave she was. Pocahontas has nothing on her!

The book is basically about her 8,000 mile journey with the Lewis and Clark expedition as an interpreter of Indian languages
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really liked it. More like 4.5 stars, but it was long, and not a quick read for me. Really well done. Fascinating research and history.

Also, I remember my grandmother having this book in her apartment as well, back in the 1980's, so it has sentimental value also!
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
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Kathryn Bashaar
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
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
John Clements
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was simply amazing and I recommend it to anyone who likes to see history come alive! It was a very long book; however, I was totally engrossed throughout the book. Sacajawea led a very extraordinary life through her experiences with the Lewis and Clark expedition that taught her so much more than other Indian women of the period. She learned many languages and lived with several Indian tribes as well as with white explorers. The book is extremely well-written and, although it is an his ...more
Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
L.   (Vacation All I Ever Wanted)
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.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Definitely worth reading, I enjoyed every single page.
Brenda Vanwormer
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
1328pages and i was suddenly all alone when i finished this book. I've read it twice and i intend to again. Wonderful book.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
1400 pages!
I first read this book in 1984 during the summer when I was working third shift at a plastic factory. I was saving money for college. I was sleeping in my brothers room because it was the darkest one in the house. It was also filled with a bunch of traps, guns and animals in various stages of taxidermy. It set the stage for an awesome adventure with Sacajawea.
The story is still wonderful all these years later.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Amazing read! I am sorry to leave it but happy to have visited. Excellent.
Rating: 2.3-2.4 / 5

When you hear about a book that was ten years in the making, at the very least, you have to respect the author's dedication to their work, if nothing else. Anna Lee Waldo's Sacajawea is well-researched, in-depth, detailed, well-written, and definitely authentic, with cited sources and everything also included.

The only thing that I didn't like, to make a long story short, was the story.

It starts, appropriately enough, in Sacajawea's childhood, in which she is out with her fathe
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I doubt if Lewis and Clark would have made it to the Pacific Ocean if they hadn't had the knowledge and assistance of this lovely young Indian girl along with them. It was a wise decision to take her along on their journey.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010s
Very slow... Also super disappointed to learn that Waldo plagiarized heavily from author Benjamin Capps...
Emily Carroll
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have owned this book for years and never got around to reading it until now. Looking at it, it's a pretty intimidating endeavor to take on. You have to imagine that it will likely take at least a month of commitment. I got lucky though, because "Sacajawea" seriously sucks you in right away and doesn't let go throughout the entire thing. It being 50+ chapters and 1,400 pages, it really has too or no one would finish it. Let alone, it becoming one of the top best sellers in the country and spend ...more
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Isabella A C
This book is a really cool book because it is a true story. It's about a girl named Sacajawea. She got taken away from her tribe then got married. And Louis Clark asks Sacajewea's husband and her to go on an expedition to find new land. Sacajawea was needed because she knew how to take care of the sick, she could sew clothes for them, and much more. Then came winter and she had a baby. Will they make it to the end.?
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Pocahontas
  • Panther in the Sky: A Novel Based on the Life of Tecumseh
  • Walk in My Soul
  • She Who Remembers (Kwani, #1)
  • Mother Earth Father Sky (Ivory Carver, #1)
  • People of the Fire (North America's Forgotten Past, #2)
  • Creek Mary's Blood
  • Stone Song: A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse
  • Beyond the Sea of Ice (The First Americans, #1)
  • The Reindeer Hunters (Reindeer Hunters, #3)
  • A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh
  • Hanta Yo: An American Saga
  • People of the Owl (North America's Forgotten Past, #11)
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Do what comes into your life and do it well... Be polite without groveling. If you are ever afraid of anything, do not deny it, but behave as if you feared nothing.” 12 likes
“I always know what to expect of the things of Mother Earth. Sometimes they are cruel, but it is hard, clean cruelty. They don’t torture you with their own weakness.” 6 likes
More quotes…