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Children's LiteratureSir Francis Drake is one of the more dashing figures in the "Explorers of the New Lands" series. He inspired crews of men to circumnavigate the globe, and unlike Magellan, brought his men and ships home safely to tell their tales. He was a talented navigator and schemer, out-maneuvering the Spanish Armada when they were the world power of the day. He was also a pirate, and he bought and sold slaves with no apparent twinges of conscious. Even with his shortcomings, or perhaps because of them, he cut a long figure in his own day. With Crompton's energetic writing, Drake holds his own in today's world; he wasn't perfect, but worth knowing about. Drawings and photos accompany the text. Unfortunately, what is not there is significant--there are no maps in this book about exploration. While Crompton does a decent job of charting Drake's course in words, one has to have a strong image of a world map before it makes sense. The lack of maps is a major shortfall in this otherwise noteworthy book. Back matter includes a chronology and time line, a bibliography, further reading, and an index. 2006, Chelsea House Publishers, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amy S. Hansen