Cheryl Harness is the author and/or illustrator of numerous children's books, including seven picture book biographies for National Geographic. She has a natural talent for making history fun for kids, injecting the "wow" factor into the lives of America's historical heroes and heroines. A multi-award winning author and illustrator, she lives in her historic hometown of Independence MO. Visit Cheryl Harness at her Web site: www.cherylharness.com.
Gr 5-8-Harness's panoramic approach to her subject is overwhelmed by too much background information and a lack of focus. The busy design includes full-page and spot pen-and-ink drawings and a running illustrated time line across the bottoms of most spreads. The spot art is tiny and requires close scrutiny and the hand-drawn maps are cluttered and difficult to read. The rambling text makes it challenging to follow Boone's life story. Discussions about the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812 are complicated and it is difficult to discern what Boone's role was in these events. The last chapter, "On the Go," which covers modes of travel from the beginning of roads in America to present-day highways, seems an afterthought and not relevant to the rest of the text.-Kristen Oravec, Stephen S. Wise Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.