Lives of the Explorers: Discoveries, Disasters (and What the Neighbors Thought)

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9780152059101: Lives of the Explorers: Discoveries, Disasters (and What the Neighbors Thought)

You might know that Columbus discovered America, Lewis and Clark headed west with Sacajawea, and Sally Ride blasted into space. But what do you really know about these bold explorers? What were they like as kids? What pets or bad habits did they have? And what drove their passion to explore unknown parts of the world? With juicy tidbits about everything from favorite foods to first loves, Lives of the Explorers reveals these fascinating adventurers as both world-changers and real people.

The entertaining style and solid research of the Lives of . . . series of biographies have made it a favorite with families and educators for twenty years. This new volume takes readers through the centuries and across the globe, profiling the men and women whose curiosity and courage have led them to discover our world.

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About the Author:

Kathleen Krull has written much innovative nonfiction for young people, including all of the books in the Lives of . . . series, and has made a chatty, accessible approach to biography her hallmark. She lives in San Diego, California. Visit her website at www.kathleenkrull.com. Kathryn Hewitt's caricatures of famous figures led kids to dub the Lives of . . . series the "Big Head" books. She has illustrated many books for young readers, some of which she also wrote. She lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit her website at www.kathrynhewitt.com.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 4–6—Krull introduces middle-grade readers to a diverse cast of 17 explorers in this latest offering from her series. A short, two-to five page chapter is devoted to each explorer, incorporating a biographical sketch and a short discussion of the explorer's contributions. The subjects are presented chronologically, beginning in the medieval period with the Norseman Leif Ericson and finishing with the astronaut Sally Ride. Readers learn about these historical figures' adventures while also getting a taste of each explorer's personality and character. Brilliant, full-page caricatures of the explorers in light color introduce each chapter, their oversize heads adding an additional dimension of personality to the narrative. Hewitt's painted maps are splendid, revealing the twisting paths of many adventurers, including Capt. James Cook's winding sea routes and Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's snaking trails. In addition to the famous personages of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan, special attention is given to less fabled discoverers, including Mary Kingsley and Isabella Bird. This work is a survey, providing summarized information, so the detail is shallower than volumes specializing on a single explorer or specific expedition, such as Richard Kozar's Lewis & Clark (Chelsea House, 2000). But what the book lacks in detail, it gains in an exceedingly diverse cast of historical figures, thus introducing young readers to the women, Asians, and African Americans who contributed to world discovery. Krull does not sugarcoat the history; the negative impacts of discovery upon native peoples are discussed, such as the violence resulting from Columbus's expeditions. A strong addition to middle-grade nonfiction collections.—Jeffrey Meyer, Mount Pleasant Public Library, IA

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