ONWARD by Dolores Johnson


A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson
Age Range: 10 - 13
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“Our breath was frozen to our hoods of fur and our cheeks and noses frozen . . . it was a night of Plutonian Purgatory.” Drawing from Henson’s autobiography and other published sources, Johnson vividly chronicles the explorer’s life and exploits with, understandably, particular reference to the multiple attempts he and Robert Peary made to reach the North Pole, as well as the dismal reluctance subsequently shown by American authorities and public to acknowledge his role in the achievement. Illustrated with dim, grey-and-silver expedition photos that capture a sense of the bitter Arctic climate (capped by a newer shot of one of Henson’s Inuit descendants), this frank account pays tribute to the characters and abilities of both Henson and Peary. This is a more readable and visually appealing version than Laura Litwin’s Matthew Henson: Co-Discoverer of the North Pole (2001). (chronology, resource list) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Dec. 27th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7922-7914-X
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: National Geographic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2005


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