• Non-Fiction
  • Down the Colorado John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer

Down the Colorado John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer

Down the Colorado  John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer

John Wesley Powell, Wes, grew up as the son of a minister. He fled school at an early age because of bullying and ended up being tutored by a naturalist named George Crookham who believed nature should be studied through experience and observation. After losing his arm in the Civil War, Wes was haunted by his traumatic experiences. He turned to the study of and teaching about nature.

Wes and his wife, Emma, led expeditions into the wilds of Colorado and eventually his heart urged him to explore the unknown, unexplored lands of the Colorado River. This is the story of his struggle and eventual triumph against impossible odds as he led the first scientific exploration of the wonder of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. A powerful story of overcoming challenges and a role model for our children.

48 pages 978-0374318383 Ages 7-12

Keywords: explorers, exploration, biography, overcoming adversity, science, courage, role model, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


Although John Wesley Powell's minister father always wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, young Wes had different plans for his future. Enraptured by the wonders of the natural world, he was determined to take the path of science. Even after losing his right arm below the elbow in battle during the Civil War, Wes would not be deterred from his dream of leading the first scientific expedition down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Braving treacherous rapids and perilous waterfalls, Major Powell would surpass all expectations and return home a national hero.

With breathtaking illustrations and excerpts from Powell's own journals, Deborah Kogan Ray brings to vivid life the exploits and explorations of one of America's greatest conservationists.

Down the Colorado is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.---from the publisher

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