by David Craig, Janice Weaver

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History has not been kind to Henry Hudson. He's been dismissed as a short-tempered man who played favorites with his crew and had an unstoppable ambition and tenacity. Although he gave his name to a mighty river, an important strait, and a huge bay, today he is remembered more for the mutiny that took his life. The grandson of a trader, Hudson sailed under both


History has not been kind to Henry Hudson. He's been dismissed as a short-tempered man who played favorites with his crew and had an unstoppable ambition and tenacity. Although he gave his name to a mighty river, an important strait, and a huge bay, today he is remembered more for the mutiny that took his life. The grandson of a trader, Hudson sailed under both British and Dutch flags, looking for a northern route to China. Although none of his voyages led to the discovery of a northwest passage, he did explore what is now Hudson's Bay and what is now New York City.

Whatever his personal shortcomings, to sail through dangerous, ice-filled waters with only a small crew in a rickety old boat, he must have been someone of rare courage and vision. In Hudson, Janice Weaver has created a compelling portrait of a man who should be remembered not for his tragic end, but for the way he advanced our understanding of the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weaver's account of Henry Hudson sheds light on the life of this elusive explorer. From the icy Arctic Circle to the coast of North America, Hudson fended off disaster to make discoveries that would affect mankind for generations. Historical images and Craig's original oil paintings immerse readers in the landscapes of the period, while sidebars provide further information on relevant topics like navigation, scurvy, and whaling. Readers will be tantalized by the mysterious conclusion (Hudson was never seen again after his crew mutinied) to this engrossing true tale. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Praise For Mirror With A Memory:
". . . A great visual retrospective of a nation's people and events."
- School Library Journal

Praise For Building America:

"This is more than a marvelous illustrated history of architecture in America; it provides an easy-to-take social context for the buildings it showcases."
- Philadelphia Inquirer

Praise For From Head To Toe:

"[an] always engaging and often enthralling account of the place of clothes and assorted adornments through the ages. . . .Weaver is that exemplary explicator for whom one thing always leads to another. . . ."
- The Globe and Mail
Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
Most of Henry Hudson's life is unknown as Janice Weaver notes; however, she focuses her outstanding biography on the few well-documented years in the early seventeenth century when Hudson set sail four times hoping to achieve his goal of finding a northern passage to China from Europe. The difficult seafaring life of early explorers is revealed, including voyage through icy seas, relying on imprecise navigational tools in old and sometimes decaying ships with only a handful of charts and maps. Adventure abounds as well, and Weaver tells of entrapment by ice and threats of mutiny and actual mutiny aboard ship. Several excellent insets provide further background context relating to the age of exploration highlighting such topics as the whaling industry, mermaid sightings, the problem of scurvy and the race to find the quickest route to the spices and silks of the Far East. Craig's superb and dramatic, original illustrations correct earlier versions and portray Hudson as a man in his prime since he was most likely only in his forties when he died. Additional paintings illustrate the various ships Hudson sailed, as well as life on board. Back matter includes listings of historic sites and monuments, further reading and an index. Weaver convincingly argues that although Hudson never achieved his goal of finding a northern passage to China or discovered new lands, his voyages nevertheless contributed to greater knowledge of the world and greatly aided in helping to map parts of North America. She presents all sides of Henry Hudson—a flawed individual who had a short temper and played favorites with certain crew as well as a man of courage who sailed into dangerous and unfamiliar waters to explore the unknown. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—In Weaver's take on this oft-celebrated explorer, Hudson is portrayed as merely a human being, with positive and negative characteristics; his dogged determination to find a water passage to Asia, despite constant failure, is both admirable and quixotic. The author gives enough detail to bring the story to life without overloading children with information, a downfall all too common in other books about Hudson. She emphasizes the bits of the story with the most kid appeal—harsh living conditions on the ships, battles with Native Americans, and the mutinous crew that eventually abandoned Hudson and his supporters. This book is also visually engaging: Craig's original, full-page paintings are vibrantly hued, and the print is well laid out on white or pale earth-toned pages. The most similar book, Jean Elizabeth Goodman's Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson (Mikaya, 1999), has more content but an excruciatingly unreadable font and layout. Where it excels is with its simple but adequately labeled foldout map, with which readers can follow Hudson's expeditions; the only map in Hudson is in the front of the book and only the continents are labeled. Its compelling text and beautiful paintings still make for a good read, but the lack of a practical map dulls its shine.—Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
The complex story of explorer Henry Hudson, who, when remembered at all, is known more for his temper, favoritism and failed expeditions than anything else. Weaver acknowledges his flaws but argues that he was also a courageous, tireless and misunderstood figure who helped further our understanding of the world and the accurate mapping of North America. Not much is known beyond the records kept during 1607-1611, when Hudson first set out to discover a northern passage to Asia. This culminated in a fourth and final voyage in what is now called Hudson Bay, where he was cut loose from his desperate and starving crew. The author draws upon those records and other primary-source material to craft this account. This work will particularly appeal to youth who live near the bodies of water named for him (the Hudson River, Bay and Strait), but the author packs in enough dramatic tidbits to keep any young history buff's attention, including sidebars on such related topics as navigation, whaling and scurvy. Craig's poignant illustrations evoke 17th-century style. (historic sites, suggested reading, index) (Biography. 10-14)

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

JANICE WEAVER is a highly respected editor and the author of several acclaimed works of nonfiction for young people. Building America and From Head to Toe: Bound Feet, Bathing Suits, and Other Bizarre and Beautiful Things were each named Notable Books by the International Reading Association. From Head to Toe was also a finalist for both the Rocky Mountain Book Award and the Ontario Library Association's Red Maple Award. She is also the author of Mirror with a Memory: A Nation's Story in Photographs. Janice Weaver enjoys sailing near her home in Toronto, Ontario.

DAVID CRAIG is a distinguished artist whose work includes a series of paintings commemorating Canada's effort in the Second World War, posters, and fifteen coins for the Canadian Mint, including three gold Olympic coins. He was the first Canadian to receive the James Madison Book Award for First to Fly by Peter Busby. His picture books include Amelia Earhart: Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka, which received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children.

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