A Promising Life

A Promising Life

FormatBooks | Individual Titles | Hardcover Book
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Key Features


Award-winning author Emily McCully's most adventurous book to date draws a dramatic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America.

For as long as he can remember, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau has been told that a promising future lies ahead of him. After all, his mother is the great Sakakawea, who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition of discovery. And thanks to her, Baptiste's life changes forever when Captain Clark offers him an education in the bustling city of St. Louis.
There, his mother charges him to "learn everything" - reading, writing, languages, and more. Baptiste's life becomes a whirl of new experiences: lessons, duels, dances, elections. He makes friends and undertakes unexpected journeys to far-off places.
But he also witnesses the injustices Clark, as a U.S. agent for Indian Affairs, forces upon the Osage, the Arikara, the Mandan, and many others. He sees the effect of what some call "progress" on the land and on the people who have lived there for generations. And he must choose what path he will take and what place he will have in a rapidly changing society.

Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully explores the life of an elusive historical figure, and creates a brilliantly fictionalized story of coming of age in a time of great change in America.


RL.9-10.3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme

Product Details

  • Item #: NTS931445
  • ISBN13: 9780439314459
  • Format: Hardcover Book
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre:
    Historical Fiction,
  • Grades: 8 - 12
  • Lexile® Measure: 770L

A Promising Life

Hardcover Book


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