A fictionalized biography. Considering the number of times that younger readers must meet Columbus--pictures, filmstrips, song, story and text book--by the time they achieve their teens, Columbus as a subject has become as familiar as a barber pole and about as lively in interest. Well researched though the book obviously is, the attempt at mood recreation and the fictional dialogue adds nothing valuable to the subject. This emphasizes Columbus' concern for his sons who emerge as sensitive and poetic in their conversation--a little too much so for reader belief. The short sentence style for mood and dialogue is a relief from the kind of plodding ""he cried"", ""she cried"", ""they cried"" approach that so often obtains in juvenile biography. However, the length of the book makes this too become wearisome. A disappointment from a respected, talented author.