School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-6-These series entries concentrate more on the voyages of exploration than on the lives of the explorers. The reading level is a bit higher and the contents more substantial than in the "Discover the Life of an Explorer" series (Rourke). Historical maps and etchings are combined with at least one modern map that illustrates each man's route (although in the case of Cartier, the routes are not complete because only the Canadian part is shown and the great Atlantic crossing is omitted). The layout is a bit cluttered, but there is a treasure-map look to each page that may attract some students. The author uses simple language to convey the achievements of each subject. However, the glossaries seem more obligatory, and arbitrary, than useful. The words "slaves," "violent," and "survivors" (and even "explorers" in Cortes) are included, when trickier words like "experience," "communicate," and "authorized" are not. And why, oh, why are pronunciations included for continent, constellations, and city-state, but not for Vespucci, Cartier, and Cortes. The square format and highlighted vocabulary might be off-putting to older students, but the books could conceivably be used for middle-schoolers with reading difficulties because they convey some of the hardships, historical context, and clash of cultures in brief texts.-Sue Sherif, Alaska State Library, Anchorage Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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