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Children's LiteratureFourteen lively stories of selected women explorers pack this book with tales of dreams, obstacles, and perseverance. Jeanne Baret disguised herself as a boy to join an 18th century expedition with naturalist Philibert Commerson. Elisabeth Casteret, when between pregnancies, joined her husband Norbert in exploring caves and discovered some of the earliest cave paintings. Junko Tabei founded a woman's mountain climbing group and faced avalanches and oxygen deprivation to become the first woman to scale Everest. Ann Bancroft used a sled, walked, skied, and sailed to reach both poles of our world. The author blends the women's true stories with fictionalized dialogue to create a whole picture of the women and their worlds. She gracefully deals with marriage and family issues while detailing the many obstacles faced and successes hard-won. Particularly interesting were the end-of-chapter notes, which offer insight into the biographical process and the totality of the women's lives. This book is definitely in the creative nonfiction category, but will offer readers many different models of "following a dream." Each chapter is engagingly headed with a question, "How Deep Can We Dive?" or "How Far Can a River Flow?," and is introduced with an illustration. Back matter includes an author's note, important years in women's exploration history, and a list of selected books and web sites. 2005, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 12 up.