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INTO THE UNKNOWN by Stewart Ross


How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air

by Stewart Ross & illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4948-7
Publisher: Candlewick

Biesty’s trademark amusing, informatively detailed illustrations are a highlight of this entertaining examination of several voyages of exploration. Brief chapters in chronological order are presented on durable, very light cardboard stock with backgrounds appropriate to the era of the voyage: parchment, notebook paper, graph paper, etc. Chapters cover an impressive range of exploration. In addition to the usual suspects, they include a 340 B.C.E. Greek voyage to the Arctic Circle; Chinese Admiral Zheng He to India; David Livingston and Mary Kingsley into the African interior; Umberto Nobile flying over the North Pole, August and Jacques Piccard to the stratosphere and the bottom of the Marianas Trench, respectively; Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the top of Everest; and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Each chapter includes a fold-out section of illustrations with a map of the journey and a cross-section of the method of transportation. Other illustrations expand on some of the equipment mentioned in the text. The fold-outs fit nicely into the volume, smaller than the “real” pages so they close up neatly. The chapters provide a level of detail that’s just right for entertainment; intrigued readers may try some of the sources listed in the backmatter. (These are mostly primary source materials, potentially daunting for young readers.) An altogether agreeable package for armchair explorers. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)