Immersive reading.

A survey of the tools, techniques, and select triumphs of underwater archeology.

There are, Sandler writes, about three million shipwrecks on the ocean floor, making it “nothing less than the world’s greatest museum.” Though getting down there can be hard and dangerous, the rewards can be immense. Along with dramatic descriptions of seven major finds—from the Antikythera Mechanism (“the most extraordinary ancient artifact ever discovered”) and the 20,664 porcelain objects (and 28 tons of period coins) recovered from a centuries-old wreck off the South Korean coast to the slave ship São José Paquete de Africa, which sank in 1794 along with 212 enslaved people—the author profiles leading figures in the field such as George Bass (“the father of underwater archeology”) and author/explorer Clive Cussler. He also adds expansive context with side notes on, for instance, an organization called Diving With a Purpose that specializes in slave-trade archeology and the female Korean free divers called haenyeo. Historical images of ships at sea join photos of artifacts in place or in various stages of preservation to add both drama and visual detail, and along with quick, tantalizing looks at several other significant wrecks, young explorers will find helpful notes and references at the end. Many of the people involved with Diving With a Purpose are Black, the haenyeo are Korean, and Bass, Cussler, and other figures discussed are white.

Immersive reading. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9781662602047

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Astra Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023



Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000




An introduction to ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings. The authors begin with how archaeologist Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tut, then move back 3,000 years to the time of Thutmosis I, who built the first tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Finally they describe the building of the tomb of a later Pharaoh, Ramses II. The backward-forward narration is not always easy to follow, and the authors attribute emotions to the Pharaohs without citation. For example, “Thutmosis III was furious [with Hatshepsut]. He was especially annoyed that she planned to be buried in KV 20, the tomb of her father.” Since both these people lived 3,500 years ago, speculation on who was furious or annoyed should be used with extreme caution. And the tangled intrigue of Egyptian royalty is not easily sorted out in so brief a work. Throughout, though, there are spectacular photographs of ancient Egyptian artifacts, monuments, tomb paintings, jewels, and death masks that will appeal to young viewers. The photographs of the exposed mummies of Ramses II, King Tut, and Seti I are compelling. More useful for the hauntingly beautiful photos than the text. (brief bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7922-7223-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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