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Parents' Guide to

This Vast Land: A Young Man's Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Fascinating historical fiction with graphic sex, violence.

This Vast Land: A Young Man's Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Poster Image

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Teens will find this fascinating and gripping. The late Stephen Ambrose, world-renowned historian, completed this fictionalized journal of the Lewis and Clark expedition's youngest member, George Shannon, just before his death. This book -- his only work of fiction -- is pure adventure, unvarnished with the tricks of the fiction-writer's craft. This is no character study; the personality and experiences of George Shannon are completely invented, and he is used primarily as a lens to show the experience from a young person's point of view.

The sometimes salty and deliberately fractured language is accessible to younger readers, but an extremely graphic sex scene in the middle of the book will make adults hesitate to give it to elementary or middle school students. Nevertheless, for high school students learning about this amazing journey, this book may be the best place to start.

Book Details

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