The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for The Taking of Jemima Boone:

Daniel Boone, the original American badass.

Quick synopsis of The Taking of Jemima Boone:

The story of the kidnapping of Daniel Boone’s daughter and essentially the founding of Kentucky.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Kentucky was almost called Transylvania.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

Daniel Boone never wore the coonskin caps you always see him wearing in pictures. He did wear a beaver hat. I mean who can’t tell the difference between a coonskin and beaver hat? Idiots.

My Review of The Taking of Jemima Boone:

I really didn’t know much about Daniel Boone. Of course, any American kid hears about Daniel Boone and him being a frontiersman. I doubt many people know more than that if you asked them.

Here are some things I learned from this book. Daniel Boone was the closest thing to a superhero or serial killer depending on how you want to interpret his superhuman ability to track other human beings. He also had a daughter who was fantastically capable of giving him, or any American Indian who kidnapped her, a run for their money.

The book’s title focuses on the kidnapping of Jemima Boone, but the book is much more sprawling. The setting is in Kentucky before it was Kentucky. To say the founding of Kentucky was touch and go would be putting it lightly. Matthew Pearl writes a great story and makes the entire thing exciting.


This is a fun book for anyone, even non-nerds. Give it a whirl of your beaver hat. I am so sorry. I will make better jokes next time. (No, I won’t.) Buy it here!

If You Liked This Try:

  • Benjamin Woolley, Savage Kingdom
  • Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower
  • Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith, The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown
  • Tobey Pearl, Terror to the Wicked





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