As soon as I read the table of contents in Explore! The Most Dangerous Journeys of all Time ($17.95, Thames and Hudson, Ages 10-14) by Deborah Kespert, I knew I was in for a real treat. And so are your kids! The voyagers in this book took me back to the days when I was a writer for cruise lines, in particular Expedition Cruises, when I wrote about many famous explorers.
For starters, the book itself is extremely sturdy, with high quality binding, an extra resilient hard cover and pages with nice card stock. An impressive list of 61 explorers, with the dates they explored, starts as far back as Marco Polo in the 1200s. You’ll also find explorers such as Christopher Columbus, James Cook, Lewis and Clark, Ernest Shackleton, Edmund Hillary and more. Four page chapters are dedicated to each one of these adventurers. Readers learn about the great risks these explorers took – whether by boat, on foot, via vehicle, by plane, or even rocket – to be the first at whatever they set out to do – climb a mountain, reach the South Pole, fly solo across an ocean, explore an uncharted land and so much more.
I was glued to this book to say the least and loved reliving the excitement exploration holds for those who dare to discover! Each chapter highlights the challenge that the explorer took, lists the dangers, gives the reader the who, what, when and where, offers a concise timeline of events and includes marvelous illustrations and old photographs. There are offset boxes, some containing information about the dangers the men and women faced, and others offering tips on ‘how to’ information about the expeditions.
This summer, set sail for some fascinating reading, but don’t forget your flashlight, rucksack, water and cell phone! Enjoy!
– Reviewed by Debbie Glade