The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition #ReadYourWorld

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is January and that means Multicultural Children's Book Day is coming soon!! As a cohost and reviewer I love January. I love being exposed to amazing multicultural books that I hadn't heard of and getting to share them with you. Today's book is an amazing find. Quick when you hear Lewis and Clark Expedition, who do you think about (knowing we are talking about multicultural stories)? I am guessing you said Sacagawea. I know that is who I think of. We have had the pleasure of reading some amazing books about Sacagawea and sharing them here and here. However today's book teaches you about another diverse person who was forced to go on the dangerous expedition. The person is named York, and he was a slave of Captain William Clark. Our book today is The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Hasan Davis and illustrated by Alleanna Harris. 

The book is told in the voice of York. Can you imagine leaving your family to go on a dangerous mission because you were ordered to? You have no choice. All the other men who go have chosen to go, but you are ordered to by your master. This is York's story. He was forced on this journey where others volunteered. It was not know if they would survive. The journey was hard and tough, and they did not all survive. 

The story is written like diary entries. They start with a date and the location and then describe what happened in York's point of view. They describe how Sergeant Charles Floyd did not believe in slavery and befriended York, but Floyd also dies on the journey. 

Sacagawea is mentioned as a Shawnee woman but is not focused on in this story as it is the story about York. It shares the pride of having a group of islands named after him. He felt valued at that moment. Another moment of pride was that One-Eye, chief of the Hidtsa Nation, only agreed to see the group because of York and called him Big Medicine. Because of this acceptance, Captain Clark called York forward whenever they encountered a new nation. The Native Americans called York, Big Medicine, Gift from God, and Black Indian. Another moment of pride was when his vote counted. A decision had to be made as to where to camp and it could mean life or death and the white men asked York for his vote. 

However this pride went away when they returned. The Author's Note shares a bit more of the celebration upon their return, but for York it was just a return to slavery. He was not celebrated. He begged for his freedom but was denied. Though Clark later claims he gave him his freedom. There are claims that he was seen with Crow Indians after Clark claimed him to had died. 

This book introduces a new hero for you and your kids to learn about. There are so many unsung heroes in the history of the United States and The Journey of York brings one to light. I really enjoyed reading this story. I felt sadness and grief for this time in our history's nation, but also pride that there was a black man exploring the country with the white men. The book is eye-opening and is one that should be added to U.S. history for kids. I hope you will check it out and be back to join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day on January 25th!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, Super Platinum: Make A Way Media GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press, SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls, BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini, Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC 

 We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

We will be giving away Book Bundles every 5 minutes!

Twitter Party Details:

When: Friday, January 25th
Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST
Hashtag: #ReadYourWorld
Sponsored By: Make A Way Media
  FREE RESOURCES From MCBD Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.