Cover image for Rio Grande : from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico
Rio Grande : from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico
Lourie, Peter.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
46 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 21 x 26 cm
Reading Level:
930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 1.0 29472.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.9 3 Quiz: 19065.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F392.R5 L6 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The Spanish named it the "Great River." After the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the Rio Grande is the third longest river in the Unites States. In its long and shifting 1,885-mile course to the sea and in the history that unfolded near its banks, it also is one of North America's most dramatic rivers. Peter Lourie explores the Rio Grande to discover what makes the "Great River" great. He followed the river--by car, by raft, and on foot--from its headwaters in Colorado snow-capped Rockiesto the Gulf of Mexico's tropical shores. His journey takes him into the territories of Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid, and Pancho Villa. He visits an ancient pueblo where he witnesses an annual feast day and corn dance. He walks the border of the United States and Mexico with the U.S. Border Patrol, visiting towns on both sides. Finally, the author's journey ends with a dive into the warm waters of the Gulf. Here is the Rio Grande of history and legend, vividly brought to life through a lively and informative text, illustrated with full-color and archival photographs.

Author Notes

Peter Lourie, author of Amazon, Hudson River, Yukon River, Everglades, and Erie Canal, lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Continuing his riverine travels, the author of Amazon (1991), Yukon River (1992), etc., reports on his 1,900-mile journey down the Rio Grande, from its headwaters near a former silver town in Colorado to its inconspicuous outlet into the Gulf. In dramatic prose ("Heading for Santa Elena Canyon, we went twirling down the river under the brutal summer sun . . . "), he not only describes the passing scenery but also evokes some of its colorful history with tales of Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa, takes side trips to view ancient petroglyphs and pueblos, travels briefly with a member of the U.S. Border Patrol (but elsewhere passes freely between the U.S. and Mexico), meets the single living resident of a Mexican ghost town, and discusses the damage done by overdevelopment on the river's lower reaches. Unusually well-chosen photographs enhance the connections between the river's past and present with a mix of historical shots, new portraits, and landscapes in sharp color, and even a satellite picture. In Lourie, this "shallow, bony" river, our country's third longest, has found an enthusiastic, well-informed partisan. --John Peters

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5The Rio Grande flows almost 2,000 miles from the Continental Divide in Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico below Brownsville, TX. During the course of its journey, the river is mighty and meek, life enriching and life altering, but always alluring and important to the people who live along its path. Louries first-person travelogue successfully brings this body of water to life and provides readers with a sense of its history and the places that it passes through. The author also relates his feelings of excitement and adventure as he traveled downriver. Historical photographs and reproductions of Billy the Kid, General Santa Anna, Pancho Villa, and others supplement Louries bright, sharp full-color photographs; a map highlights the towns he visited during the trip. Through this photo-essay, armchair travelers can share the joy of following a river from its source to its mouth while picking up bits of history, archaeology, culture, and political and environmental concern.Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 7
Chapter 1 Head Watersp. 9
Chapter 2 Pueblosp. 17
Chapter 3 The Borderp. 27
Chapter 4 Big Bendp. 33
Chapter 5 The Lower Riverp. 41
Epiloguep. 45