Title: Daniel Boone
Author: Katharine E. Wilkie
Major Themes: Daniel Boone, Exploration, Frontier, Kentucky
Synopsis: This early chapter book introduces children to the life of a great explorer.
As part of our recent study of Daniel Boone, we read this short biography by Katharine E. Wilkie. It is a very good introduction to that famous character for children who are ready to move on to chapter books. Nine short chapters describe the explorer’s life in simple, but interesting language.
As a young boy, Daniel loved to roam the forest. He met an Indian boy one day who taught him a lot about hunting, and introduced him to his life. Daniel wished he could be an Indian! After a few years, Daniel’s father moved his family to North Carolina, where Daniel supplied the family with meat. Later, Daniel fought in the French and Indian War, then came home and got married—but before too many years, when a friend from the war came to visit him, he went with the friend to Kentucky.
After spending several years hunting in Kentucky, Daniel Boone took his family there. Despite losing a son to the Indians, he kept trying to establish a foothold in that wild land, and eventually succeeded. This book tells fairly briefly about many of the incidents in his life, which are told in much greater detail in the biography we listened to by Janet & Geoff Benge. That book is great for older children; this is a good introduction for the 6-8-year-old crowd. It is accurate, but not to the point of being gruesome (and some of the things that happened in Daniel’s life were pretty awful). We enjoyed it, and it helped us remember some of the events better when we heard about them later in the more detailed biography.
WARNING: The fourth and fifth chapters mentioned men dying or being killed. The eighth chapter describes a lie that Daniel told the Indians.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Age 7 – 9