cover image Pedro's Journal

Pedro's Journal

Pam Conrad. Boyds Mills Press, $19.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-878093-17-2

Conrad's ( Prairie Songs ; My Daniel ) typically simple style and generous character treatments bring this boy's journal of Columbus's voyage to the ``Indies'' dramatically to life. Personalities and events that stand as icons in America's history are reduced to human size in Pedro's account of his experiences on the trip. He learns to swim off the side of the boat, he becomes a favorite of the Captain General , he feels sorry for the natives they take prisoner, and he hates the parrots brought aboard. Offering a narrow but deeply satisfying view of a momentous event, Conrad's interpretation of a now-500-year-old journal, accompanied by atmospheric and graceful pencil sketches, feels newly minted and immediate while it carefully preserves the wonder and excitement of that legendary voyage of discovery. Ages 8-12. (Dec.)