Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early American took to the Road

The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early American took to the Road

Cheryl Harness
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 10 to and up
National Geographic, 2007   ISBN: 978-1426301452

Daniel Boone’s grandparents, George and Mary, were Quakers who had come to America from England looking for new opportunities and a place where they could live in peace, free from persecution. They finally settled near what is Reading, Pennsylvania today and there George Boone and his wife raised their large family. In time their son Squire married and raised his own large family there.

In the middle of Squire’s large brood of children there was Daniel, a boy who was not overfond of books who loved to be outdoors. Daniel soon became an excellent woodsman, learning how to shoot with great skill, how to track animals, and how to survive in the wilderness. When he was still just a teenager he would go on hunting expeditions, getting meat for the pot and furs to sell.

In 1750 Daniel’s parents decided to leave crowded Pennyslvania and head south. They ended up settling in North Carolina and after helping his parents get settled Daniel joined the British militia to fight against the French. Unfortunately he was on the losing side in this instance and he had to beat a hasty retreat from the battlefield.

Back in North Carolina Daniel got married and settled down for a while, but he and his neighbors soon found themselves having to deal with a new threat. The local Native American tribes were feeling pinched by the arrival of more and more settlers and they began to fight back, attacking homesteads wherever they could find them. Needless to say it was a very dangerous time.

The one day in 1768 a traveler came to the Boone house and talked about a wonderful place called “Kaintuck” where there was plenty of game and where a hunter could make a fortune if he could get there. It was not long before Daniel was putting together an expedition to go to Kentucky. It would be a journey which would keep Daniel from his family for several years and because of this journey Daniel would later establish a settlement in Kentucky called Boonesborough.

In this fascinating book Cheryl Harness tells the story of one of America’s most famous legendary figures. Readers will get a real feel for what it was like to live in on the frontier and how difficult and dangerous it was to travel from place to place in those days. The author shows her readers that Daniel Boone was a truly unique individual who loved to explore new and untouched wilderness and who had a healthy respect for the creatures and the people who lived there.

With humor and a lively and wonderfully entertaining style of writing, Cheryl Harness brings history to life. Her timeline at the bottom of the pages of the book helps readers see what was taking place in the world during Daniel’s lifetime, and her lovely illustrations and maps break up the text beautifully.