Ferdinand Magellan and the Quest to Circle the Globe

Ferdinand Magellan and the Quest to Circle the Globe

by Samuel Willard Crompton

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A series called "Explorers of New Lands" would surely have to include Magellan, first man to circumnavigate the globe—or was he? Readers will be interested to learn that the ambitious Magellan didn't make it—he was killed in the Philippines, a victim of over-confidence and chief Lapu-Lapu of the Mactan tribe (a photo shows the impressive Philippine statue of Lapu-Lapu). The person deserving the honor of being first was probably Enrique, Magellan's Malay slave. The book begins with a rather old-fashioned (or politically incorrect) introduction, but goes on to relate the story of the voyage in a conversational style that often speaks directly to the reader. After a look at Magellan's finding of the legendary strait leading to the Pacific, the author gives background on the rivalry between Spain and Portugal and information about Magellan's early life. Then he describes the perils of the expedition, including hardships, mutinies, and lost ships. Finally, with Magellan dead, two of the five original ships started home laden with precious spices; one got lost and only one arrived in Spain. Crompton adds "A Reflection," revealing the fates of various voyagers and ending with the question, "Was it worth it?" While illustrations are few and far between, sidebars offer additional information on subjects like the Spice Islands, medieval punishments, and the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. Quizzes after each chapter are not very useful; teachers can do better themselves. Included are a timeline, a chronology, bibliographies, and an index. 2006, Chelsea House, Ages 9 to 13.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-These introductions focus on the explorers' voyages and how those journeys influenced further European exploration. The authors describe the myriad dangers of life at sea, the uncertainties of navigating unfamiliar waters, encounters with friendly and hostile native peoples, and the demands of the kings and queens who financed the expeditions. The writing is objective, describing the subjects' bravery and determination as well as their often-condescending and occasionally cruel treatment of the men they commanded and the people they encountered. Although there are chapter notes, sourcing is limited, and the authors use some geographical and nautical terms without adequate definition. A short multiple-choice quiz appears at the end of each chapter. The illustrations are a mixture of period art and generic contemporary photos. The maps of the voyages are not detailed, making it difficult for readers to follow some of the text. Each title has the same introduction. While these books are adequate for reports, they are not as strong as Albert Marrin's outstanding The Sea King: Sir Francis Drake and His Times (S & S, 1995) or Joan Elizabeth Goodman's lavishly illustrated A Long and Uncertain Journey: The 27,000-Mile Voyage of Vasco da Gama (Mikaya, 2001). Additional choices for most collections.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
Explorers of New Lands Series
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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