Abe and the Wild River

Author: McCall, Edith

Subjects: American History; Adventure; New Madrid Earthquake; Mississippi River

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8

ISBN: 0-88092-439-X

Order code: 439X

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 439XS

Abe and the Wild River Cover

Fourteen-year-old Abe is anxious for adventure and a wider world beyond St. Louis. In 1811, working on a keelboat going down the Mississippi seems the way to do it. He can read and write and do mathematics, and his common sense and good humor more than make up for what he might lack in height and strength. Captain Byrne sees that in him when he hires Abe as cabin boy on board the Rosalie.

In addition to a cargo of furs and shot, the keelboat carries French passengers Antoinette and her father. Soon Abe is not only keeping the books for the captain and learning to read the surface of the river for sandbars, sawyers, and planters, he also is instructing the lovely Toni in English. And he is secretly curious about the mystery of a young lady’s picture in the captain’s cabin.

As the keelboat travels down the Mississippi toward New Orleans, Abe learns to be a deckhand and to use the cordelle, which is used for moving the boat against the tide. He learns about Native Americans as the captain meets with the Choctaws to trade shot and gunpowder for food. A run-in with river pirates brings out Abe's cleverness and heroism under pressure. But his ultimate test of courage comes when the New Madrid Earthquake strikes and its aftershocks rain terror on people and animals alike. Abe pitches in to help wherever he is needed, unmindful of the danger and without complaint as the wild and terrible circumstances dictate. He exhibits self-control even when the raging Mississippi River runs backward!

In a postlude containing a long letter from Abe to his parents, the author gives readers addi­tional details about the earthquake and its destruction from Abe’s point of view. Abe is now safe in New Orleans. The letter is a dazzling finish to the adventure.

Author Edith McCall’s many educational American history novels are well-known to elementary school teachers throughout the United States.

Fourteen-year-old Abe is anxious for adventure and a wider world beyond St. Louis. In 1811, working on a keelboat going down the Mississippi seems the way to do it. He can read and write and do mathematics, and his common sense and good humor more than make up for what he might lack in height and strength. Captain Byrne sees that in him when he hires Abe as cabin boy on board the Rosalie.

In addition to a cargo of furs and shot, the keelboat carries French passengers Antoinette and her father. Soon Abe is not only keeping the books for the captain and learning to read the surface of the river for sandbars, sawyers, and planters, he also is instructing the lovely Toni in English. And he is secretly curious about the mystery of a young lady’s picture in the captain’s cabin.

As the keelboat travels down the Mississippi toward New Orleans, Abe learns to be a deckhand and to use the cordelle, which is used for moving the boat against the tide. He learns about Native Americans as the captain meets with the Choctaws to trade shot and gunpowder for food. A run-in with river pirates brings out Abe's cleverness and heroism under pressure. But his ultimate test of courage comes when the New Madrid Earthquake strikes and its aftershocks rain terror on people and animals alike. Abe pitches in to help wherever he is needed, unmindful of the danger and without complaint as the wild and terrible circumstances dictate. He exhibits self-control even when the raging Mississippi River runs backward!

In a postlude containing a long letter from Abe to his parents, the author gives readers addi­tional details about the earthquake and its destruction from Abe’s point of view. Abe is now safe in New Orleans. The letter is a dazzling finish to the adventure.

Author Edith McCall’s many educational American history novels are well-known to elementary school teachers throughout the United States.

Abe and the Wild River Cover

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