Going Around the Bend

Author: Markow, Radiana

Subjects: American History; Adventure; Mississippi River

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9

Order code: 1668

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 1668S

Going Around the Bend Cover

This novel is based on the real historical figure of Henry Miller Shreve.

Fifteen-year-old Henry has always loved the Ohio River, unlike his older brother, Israel, man of the house, who believes that a Quaker’s heart belongs on the farm. Now, with the farm in danger of foreclosure, Henry is sure that their only recourse is for him to become a wage earner, a riverman, moving cargo down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans on a flatboat. He will run away from Israel’s farm, learn the river, and return with money to pay off their debt—a man in everyone’s eyes.

Henry’s problems begin on board when superstitious Pierre wants to kill him because a boy on crew would bring bad luck. Henry must learn to read the river and know the dangers that its beauty hides: a sheet of glass means a sandbar, beautiful ripples mean a sunken tree, and swirling white foam and eddies mean certain boat breakup. His hands bleed at the long oar, and he falls into the water, ashamed, but he perseveres. He learns to hunt turkeys and deer on land to restock the food supply. He battles Native Americans in hand-to-hand combat, is wounded, and has the presence of mind to save the longboat from an eddy by swimming against its current out to another boat in calm water with a rope to pull it free. Finally, the goods are delivered, and Henry is paid.

Henry begins the dangerous walk home, upriver, along the Natchez Trace. Never had Henry dreamed of being attacked by pirates for his wages and being taken prisoner for sale to a sea-going captain, nor the days of thirst following his escape, nor the stinking swampland and being eaten alive by black flies.

Although he is duly welcomed home, Israel expects Henry to resume his farm chores. But Henry, now a riverman, speaks his mind—and Israel hears.

Henry Miller Shreve later spent his time between farming and working on the river. Eventually he captained his own keelboat and invented a double-decker steamboat and snagboat (a boat that removed sunken trees from the riverbed). For the first time, riverboats could steam upriver safely. Shreveport, Louisiana, is named for him.

This novel is based on the real historical figure of Henry Miller Shreve.

Fifteen-year-old Henry has always loved the Ohio River, unlike his older brother, Israel, man of the house, who believes that a Quaker’s heart belongs on the farm. Now, with the farm in danger of foreclosure, Henry is sure that their only recourse is for him to become a wage earner, a riverman, moving cargo down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans on a flatboat. He will run away from Israel’s farm, learn the river, and return with money to pay off their debt—a man in everyone’s eyes.

Henry’s problems begin on board when superstitious Pierre wants to kill him because a boy on crew would bring bad luck. Henry must learn to read the river and know the dangers that its beauty hides: a sheet of glass means a sandbar, beautiful ripples mean a sunken tree, and swirling white foam and eddies mean certain boat breakup. His hands bleed at the long oar, and he falls into the water, ashamed, but he perseveres. He learns to hunt turkeys and deer on land to restock the food supply. He battles Native Americans in hand-to-hand combat, is wounded, and has the presence of mind to save the longboat from an eddy by swimming against its current out to another boat in calm water with a rope to pull it free. Finally, the goods are delivered, and Henry is paid.

Henry begins the dangerous walk home, upriver, along the Natchez Trace. Never had Henry dreamed of being attacked by pirates for his wages and being taken prisoner for sale to a sea-going captain, nor the days of thirst following his escape, nor the stinking swampland and being eaten alive by black flies.

Although he is duly welcomed home, Israel expects Henry to resume his farm chores. But Henry, now a riverman, speaks his mind—and Israel hears.

Henry Miller Shreve later spent his time between farming and working on the river. Eventually he captained his own keelboat and invented a double-decker steamboat and snagboat (a boat that removed sunken trees from the riverbed). For the first time, riverboats could steam upriver safely. Shreveport, Louisiana, is named for him.

Going Around the Bend Cover

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