Sir 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
School Library Journal - 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.