Historical Atlas of Expeditions

Karen Farrington, Author Checkmark Books $35 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8160-4432-0
Attractively illustrated, this atlas is bound to delight students who are weary of old, dry textbook stories of the world's leading explorers. The chapters, which are divided by geographical region, contain maps, biographical information on the explorers, timelines, information on the various cultures and illustrations, making it a good resource for classrooms and teachers. Some of the names are familiar--Pizarro, Sir Walter Raleigh, Daniel Boone, Ernest Shackleton--but others profiled are not usually included in standard history books. For example, Mary Kingsley left England and traveled to Africa, where she helped care for Boer prisoners of war, writing three books about that continent before dying of typhoid. Sir Randulph Fiennes explored Antarctica at the advanced age of 60, despite frostbitten toes. In the 1870s, Nikolai Przwalski wanted to be one of the few Europeans to reach the palace of the Dalai Lama and ended up traveling to the most remote regions of Tibet, refusing to return to Russia despite illness and the harsh terrain. Farrington's writing is lively, and she makes these explorations interesting, but the sheer number of explorers discussed results in descriptions that are necessarily superficial. A good tool for junior high and high school students who would otherwise learn little about these explorers, this book may not sell as vigorously to adults, although clearly it will benefit from the ongoing adventure-book craze. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Hardcover - 189 pages - 978-1-904668-09-1
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