cover image Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird

Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird

Lori Mortensen, illus. by Kristy Caldwell. Peachtree, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-68263-005-1

As a child in the 1830s, adventurer and writer Isabella Bird suffered from mysterious maladies that improved when she indulged her wanderlust. At 22, “Isabella sailed away. Away from England. Away from family. And away from what a young Englishwoman could and couldn’t do.” Working in a crisp style, Caldwell depicts moments from Bird’s travels, whether riding a steamship on the Mississippi, dining with a friend’s pet apes in Malaysia, or nearly freezing while crossing a Persian desert. Mortensen writes in a precise, poetic manner, touching on Bird’s psychological complexity and her periods of darkness. This volume captures the spirit of a woman who embraced new experiences and played by her own rules; an author’s note and timeline conclude. Ages 6–10. [em](Mar.) [/em]