Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9)
The ninth book in the bestselling series tells the story of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed geologist who explored the Grand Canyon John Wesley Powell (1834–1902) always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the bestselling series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.

Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9) Details

TitleMajor Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9)
Author
ReleaseDec 3rd, 2019
PublisherHarry N. Abrams
ISBN-139781419737084
Rating
GenreHistory, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Nonfiction, Humor

Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #9) Review

  • Rod Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Nathan Hale's histories are real treats to read. Here we have the first organized expedition by white men to explore the the Green and Colorado rivers by boat from Wyoming through Utah and the Grand Canyon region of Arizona shortly after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Determined and obsessive guys doing dangerous stuff, presented with humor and thrills aplenty.Side note: This is the 14th book I've read this year to prominently feature an amputee. That's an unexpected trend. And warning, there is Nathan Hale's histories are real treats to read. Here we have the first organized expedition by white men to explore the the Green and Colorado rivers by boat from Wyoming through Utah and the Grand Canyon region of Arizona shortly after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Determined and obsessive guys doing dangerous stuff, presented with humor and thrills aplenty.Side note: This is the 14th book I've read this year to prominently feature an amputee. That's an unexpected trend. And warning, there is a graphic depiction of an amputation surgery.
    more
  • orangerful
    January 1, 1970
    This might be my new favorite book in the series! Though I was not ready to get that amount of detail about Civil War battlefield amputations in a children's comic, let alone find out that even cartoony drawings of amputations would make my stomach turn. I can't wait to take this one out for booktalks!Also, I kind of want to go to the Grand Canyon now. How have I never been?
    more
  • Mary Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Another great Nathan Hale book. The amputation scene had my stomach in knots! Now I want to go visit the Grand Canyon.
  • Jeannie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm somewhat disappointed in this one. I live in Southern Utah where John Wesley Powell's story has probably gained more traction than in other parts of the country, and I have had fun recounting the underwear story to students along with the wonder of the Grand Canyon as explored by the Powell expedition. So, it was exciting to see the graphic novel style version and learn a bit more about Powell's Civil War days as well as his exploring days. When I've asked students if they like the book, I'm somewhat disappointed in this one. I live in Southern Utah where John Wesley Powell's story has probably gained more traction than in other parts of the country, and I have had fun recounting the underwear story to students along with the wonder of the Grand Canyon as explored by the Powell expedition. So, it was exciting to see the graphic novel style version and learn a bit more about Powell's Civil War days as well as his exploring days. When I've asked students if they like the book, however, they seem less enthused than I've expected. Now, having read it, I wonder if some of our disappointment is with the aspersions cast on local hero, Jacob Hamblin, known as friend and mediator to the Native Americans. I wish Hale would have ended more with Powell and his later expeditions rather than the mystery of what happened to the two members of the party that left the expedition and whether or not Hamblin was involved in a cover up of murders that may or may not have ever happened.
    more
  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Nathan Hale does a great job of making U.S. history accessible and appealing to young readers. Here he combines the Civil War and the exploration of the Grand Canyon through a biography of Major John Wesley Powell who first surveyed the Colorado River. Once again, the hangman provides comic relief along with a new character, Bill Richmond.The story uses flashbacks to weave the two plot lines together, with transitions helpfully announced by the hangman for readers. He also puts a mustache on Nathan Hale does a great job of making U.S. history accessible and appealing to young readers. Here he combines the Civil War and the exploration of the Grand Canyon through a biography of Major John Wesley Powell who first surveyed the Colorado River. Once again, the hangman provides comic relief along with a new character, Bill Richmond.The story uses flashbacks to weave the two plot lines together, with transitions helpfully announced by the hangman for readers. He also puts a mustache on Powell as a child to help readers remember it’s the same guy. Overall, it’s a good historical story, even if the exploration part gets a bit tedious—a lot of dealing with rapids and running low on supplies. I also thought the way the men were illustrated made them look much older than their 20s, but the text does establish most of their ages anothe 2-color printing is a bit limiting. Bottom line, it’s a good history book about someone I’d never heard of before.I bought this for my nephew for Christmas, and as a fan of the series I think he’ll like it.
    more
  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Like the previous books in the graphic novel series "Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales", this story is an odd but compelling mix of American history, humor, and horror. The occasionally crude humor (including a few "butte" jokes that are unavoidable when discussing the exploration of the Grand Canyon) provides much-needed relief from the depictions of the brutality of war. Flashing back to John Wesley Powell's time in the Civil War, Hale doesn't shy away from graphically illustrating the horrors of Like the previous books in the graphic novel series "Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales", this story is an odd but compelling mix of American history, humor, and horror. The occasionally crude humor (including a few "butte" jokes that are unavoidable when discussing the exploration of the Grand Canyon) provides much-needed relief from the depictions of the brutality of war. Flashing back to John Wesley Powell's time in the Civil War, Hale doesn't shy away from graphically illustrating the horrors of battlefield amputation, or Confederate prisoner of war camps. Those flashbacks contrast well with the difficult but comparatively peaceful exploration of the Colorado River later in Powell's life. I probably would have read this book a few dozen times if I had it while growing up, but I think I'd skip that amputation bit each time.
    more
  • Joseph R.
    January 1, 1970
    John Wesley Powell was the son of an abolitionist preacher. John grew up more interested in science than preaching. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, during which he lost his right arm. He became an explorer after the war. He went out west and in 1869 formed the Colorado River Exploring Expedition. He had ten men and four boats that went down the Colorado River through what is now known as the Grand Canyon. The river adventure is the main story; his earlier life and John Wesley Powell was the son of an abolitionist preacher. John grew up more interested in science than preaching. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, during which he lost his right arm. He became an explorer after the war. He went out west and in 1869 formed the Colorado River Exploring Expedition. He had ten men and four boats that went down the Colorado River through what is now known as the Grand Canyon. The river adventure is the main story; his earlier life and military service make up a secondary story. Both stories are interesting and he is a little known character from American history. As usual, Hale does a great job blending historical accuracy with some good comedy, making this yet another fun read.Recommended.
    more
  • Jenn O'Brien
    January 1, 1970
    This book did exactly what it should. It spurred me on to action to look up more information about John Wesley Powell and the Colorado Expedition. I was fascinated by the tale of the men and their journey to explore the Green and Colorado rivers and the Grand Canyon. It is too bad this book did not release earlier in the year to coincide with the Grand Canyon Centennial.I know the author wanted to fill in the background of Powell as a man, which was educational, but less interesting (in my This book did exactly what it should. It spurred me on to action to look up more information about John Wesley Powell and the Colorado Expedition. I was fascinated by the tale of the men and their journey to explore the Green and Colorado rivers and the Grand Canyon. It is too bad this book did not release earlier in the year to coincide with the Grand Canyon Centennial.I know the author wanted to fill in the background of Powell as a man, which was educational, but less interesting (in my opinion) than the river adventure. Like the majority of the Hazardous Tales series, this one was fun, interesting, and educational.
    more
  • Sesana
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't care for the split timeline Hale used here. I think it's because he didn't have quite enough material with just Powell's expedition to fill out a normal book in this series, so he needed to pad it, a lot, with a bunch of stuff from his early life that just wouldn't make the cut normally. Even the actual expedition parts felt padded for this series. Maybe this just wasn't the best choice for NHHT, even if it is an interesting story.
    more
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent, informative, funny, and engaging - as are all of the Hazardous Tales in this series. I highly recommend these to all who enjoy history and especially to those who don't enjoy history, because these books bring important figures and time periods to life for all who read them - as an adult, I always learn a lot from these books.
    more
Write a review