In the summer of 1870, Thomas Leathers was captain of the Natchez. Captain Leathers believed it was the fastest steamboat on the Mississippi River. Captain Cannon of the Robert E. Lee offered to race the Natchez from New Orleans, Louisiana, to St. Louis, Missouri. Twelve-year-old Benjamin Brown, a passenger on the Natchez, wants very much to win the race. But from the moment the Robert E. Lee leaves New Orleans early, it's clear that Captain Cannon is willing to do whatever it takes for his boat to finish first. Which boat will win? And will the outcome be fair? In the back of the book, you'll find a script and instructions for putting on a Reader's Theater performance of this adventure. At our companion website-www.lerneresource.com-you can download additional copies of the script plus sound effects, background images, and more ideas that will help make your Reader's Theater performance a success.