The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as Blazing West, is a book in the My Name Is America series. It was first published in September 2000 and was written by Kathryn Lasky. In February 2014, it was republished with a new title and cover art.
- "May 13, 1805
I can't quite believe I am all here because it's just short of a miracle that parts of me aren't floating around in the gut of a grizzly bear.... It was the biggest grizzly ever! Least, biggest I'd seen.... it was me who was right in that bear's sights, directly between him and the water.... I almost made it into the canoe but fell into the water.... I took a huge gulp of air and dove. It wasn't that deep and I swear I felt that bear's claw on my moccasin. I scraped my chin on the rocky bottom but I just kept swimming. Go deep! Go deep! The words pounded in my head. Maybe that bear won't smell me if I'm deep."
- ""I feel pressed in between these cliffs and walls of mountains. It's like a stone coffin."
After his mother dies and his drunken stepfather tries to cut his ear off, fourteen-year-old Augustus Pelletier decides it's time to get out of Missouri. And the lure of adventure with Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery is too tempting to resist. Captains Lewis and Clark are being sent by President Thomas Jefferson to find a water route to the Pacific and explore the uncharted West. Gus sets off just behind the Corps of Discovery, shadowing them for nearly two hundred miles. Once he's discovered, it's too late to turn back. As the expedition continues, they are joined by Sacajawea, daughter of a Shoshone chief, who quickly takes on the role of guide and interpreter. However, the team soon learns that the landscape of America is an unforgiving one where the biggest dangers are the unknown. They must overcome treacherous mountains, wild rapids, dangerous plains, and deadly waterfalls, and endure the harshest of winters and the most sweltering of summers. Will Gus survive the expedition and live to see the Pacific Ocean, or will he make the greatest sacrifice in the name of discovery? In his journal, Gus deftly captures the excitement and terror of what it was like to see the American West in all its wild glory for the first time."
- Main article: List of Blazing West characters
- Main article: Kathryn Lasky
Kathryn Lasky (born June 24, 1944 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American children's author. She is best known for her Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Lasky has written five books in The Royal Diaries, four in Dear America, three in My America, and one in My Name Is America.
- Interview with Kathryn Lasky about The Journal of Augustus Pelletier at Scholastic
- The Journal of Augustus Pelletier Discussion Guide at Scholastic