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Sacagawea's Strength

Illustrated by David Wenzel



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About The Book

The Blast to the Past friends meet Sacagawea—and they’ve got to work fast if they’re going to succeed in keeping history on course.

Abigail and her friends are in the middle of a Monday afternoon group project when Mr. Caruthers tells them it’s time to jump back to the past. They’re going to meet Sacagawea, and this time things are more complicated than ever!

How can the kids convince Sacagawea not to give up on her dream when they don’t even know what her dream is? Sure, they know that she helped explorers Lewis and Clark map a route leading out West …but that’s about it. Abigail, Bo, Zack, and Jacob better find out fast—because the clock is ticking!


Sacagawea’s Strength Bored
“Did you hear that?” I looked around anxiously. “I swear I just heard a bear growl.”

“What are you taking about, Abigail?” Zack asked me, making a crazy sign with his finger around his ear. He turned to his twin brother. “Did you hear anything, Jacob?”

“I don’t think so,” Jacob replied, cupping his ear to hear better. “Nope. Nothing.”

“I wish Abigail really did hear a bear,” Zack said with a yawn. I could see his tonsils. “We could use some excitement. I’m bored,” he moaned, stretching his arms and yawning again.

“Me too,” Jacob added, sighing. “This isn’t how I wanted to spend the afternoon.”

Usually, I love Mr. Caruthers’s assignments. Jacob and Zack are always excited by social studies too. But today’s project was cartography. And as far as I could tell, there was nothing more dull in the entire universe.

Mr. C had explained that cartography is the art of making maps. We were supposed to draw in a journal an accurate map of the shallow creek bed that runs behind our school. He told us to pay special attention to the direction of the creek and which way the water flowed.

Next to the map, we had to describe any plants and animals we saw. Mr. C even said we needed to sketch little pictures of the bugs we found.

This was definitely the most horrible project in the whole history of social studies.

There were four of us in our cartography group: Jacob, Zack, Bo, and me. Only Bo was interested in the class project. He was standing near a bush and holding the long iron chain Mr. C had given us. “Abigail,” he called, “would you mind holding one end of this chain against that rock over there?”

Mr. C had told us the iron chain was called a two-pole chain. A “pole” is a unit of measurement equal to sixteen and a half feet. Each link was 7.92 inches. The whole chain was thirty-three feet long. Bo liked using the two-pole chain. By counting the links, he could figure out exactly how far it was from the bush to the rock and then put them both on our map.

I didn’t really want to, but I went to help Bo anyway. “It could be worse,” I remarked to Jacob and Zack. Looking over my shoulder, I glanced over at the rest of our social studies classmates wandering around the creek bed. “Eliana Feinerman’s group didn’t even get a chain to measure stuff. They have two sticks and a bunch of rocks.”

“Yeah,” Jacob replied. “And Shanika Washington’s group has it real bad too. They have to make a new map by copying and correcting an old one from the school library.”

I picked up the end of the chain and placed it against the rock. Bo dragged the other end to the bush. “Well,” I commented, watching Bo stretch the chain tight, “at least Bo’s having fun.”

About The Authors

Stacia Deutsch is the author of more than fifty children’s books, including the eight-book, award-winning chapter book series Blast to the Past. She has also written the tween novel Mean Ghouls as well as books for the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and The Boxcar Children series. Stacia has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the novelizations of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Smurfs movies. For new releases and school visit information, visit

Rhody Cohon does all the research and editing for the Blast to the Past series. She has a master’s degree in computer engineering. Rhody lives with her family in Tuscon, Arizona.

About The Illustrator

David Thorn Wenzel has been part of the fantasy art movement since the 1970s when Middle Earth: The World of Tolkien Illustrated was released. He has continued to work on fantasy projects in the children’s book, trade book, and graphic novel markets throughout his career.  Illustrations from his 1980s book, Kingdom of the Dwarfs as well as the cover art of The Hobbit, are in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art. Wenzel began his career working for Marvel and DC comics, working on The Avengers and Savage Sword of Conan. Other notable titles include the graphic novel of The Hobbit and The Wizard’s Tale. Over the course of his career, he has also illustrated numerous children’s books including Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerThe Book of Kringle: Legend of the North Pole, and The King of Little Things. David lives in Connecticut where his studio overlooks a picturesque landscape of green farm fields and a winding brook. His entire family is involved in the arts. His wife Janice is an artist and teacher, and their two sons, Brendan (They All Saw A CatHello Hello, A Stone Sat Still) and Christopher, are both visual artists. Greg Wenzel, David’s brother, is an author and illustrator (Giant Dinosaurs of the Jurassic).

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (June 3, 2014)
  • Length: 128 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442495388
  • Grades: 2 - 5
  • Ages: 7 - 10
  • Lexile ® 680L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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