Streams to the River, River to the Sea: The Story of Sacagawea, like many of O'Dell's young adult novels, is the story of personal identity and strength of character. The story opens with the kidnapping of the Shoshone Indian princess, Sacagawea, and her cousin Running Deer by Minnetaree warriors. Even though her peaceful existence is shattered, Sacagawea never forgets who she is and the nobility and integrity of her people. Thrust into a series of events that takes her further from her homeland, Sacagawea meets each situation with a determination for survival. She is kidnapped again from the Minnetarees by the vicious LaBorgne, but manages to escape to an island where she survives until rescued and returned to the Minnetarees. There it is expected she will marry Red Hawk, son of Chief Black Moccasin. But before the marriage Red Hawk loses her to the French trader Charbonneau in a shell game. Because she now belongs to Charbonneau, she becomes his second wife, even though she intensely dislikes the coarse Frenchman and is frightened by his bad temper. When Sacagawea bears a son, she shifts her focus from her own unhappiness to her motherly duties and love for her infant Meeko. Only thirteen years old, Sacagawea's strength and integrity become especially apparent when she becomes a part of the Lewis and Clark expedition.