Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Boy for a Man's Job

As you get to know me better, you'll learn never to stand between me and a used book sale.  If I'm headed in, I'll be in a hurry to get to the old classics before the other homeschool moms.  If I'm headed out, I may have books stacked so high in my arms I won't see you. Last week  I got a chance to go to the Greater St. Louis Book Fair  ( ) .  The treasure of the trip was a book called A Boy for a Man's Job by Nina Brown Baker. 

I learned about this book in Kelly Nahrgang's curriculum--A Guide to Studying Missouri History Through Literature.  (You can learn more about this at )

If you have to study Missouri history, I can't recommend this book enough.  Even if you don't have to study Missouri, what could be better than the story of a 14 year old boy who shows enough responsibility and vision that he is given the job of building a town which still exists today---St. Louis.  Pierre Laclede is the man usually associated with the founding of St. Louis, but he was detained by an injury (the book says a millstone fell on his foot).  He sent his stepson, Auguste Chouteau to lead 30 men in laying out the streets and building the trading post, warehouses and  homes. 

The book was written in 1952 and is out of print, but I've found it in several Missouri library collections.  I would say the reading level is a little lower than the Landmark book series (I'll be using it as a read aloud).   It is a fictionalized history--there is another character named Charlie on the adventure that I've not found documented, but Laclede, Chouteau, the town of Ste. Genevieve and Fort de Chartes are all real.

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