Inside the Beagle with Charles Darwin

Inside the Beagle with Charles Darwin

by Fiona Macdonald, Mark Bergin

Combining exploration, sea faring adventure, and natural history, this splendidly illustrated book tells Darwin's exciting story.  See more details below


Combining exploration, sea faring adventure, and natural history, this splendidly illustrated book tells Darwin's exciting story.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is an excellent resource for students, with detailed illustrations of the Beagle voyage and ship that complement the informative text. Darwin's contributions to modern sciences, such as genetics and microbiology, are recognized. The book shows how Darwin first gathered detailed information, then tried to make sense of it, mapping out the modern theories of natural selection and evolution. Word choice is sometimes rather strong, for example, using "violence" instead of "physical punishment" when speaking of the control of the crew. Also some copy-editing errors—e.g., Fiztroy instead of Fitzroy and misquotation by replacing "his" with "this"—distract the reader. School librarians should compare this book with other material on the market to make the best selection for the age group they serve. 2005, Enchanted Lion Books, Ages 9 to 14.
—Elisabeth Greenberg
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Macdonald's informative text is complemented by many equally informative watercolor-and-ink illustrations. Readers will learn a great deal about life onboard the Beagle and its ports of call, as well as about Darwin's gathering of species, observations, and subsequent efforts to make scientific sense of both. The author also mentions the ship captain's violence with his crew and rather breezily describes his attempts to Christianize and educate four natives. Unfortunately, her writing is uneven: she does not include the ship's surgeon in the discussion of those onboard but refers to him as being jealous of Darwin on a later page, and she mentions Darwin's taking meals with the captain except when they "quarreled." Readers will wonder why they were quarreling. The text is choppy at times, with some lack of clarity. The small maps that show the route are helpful; for some reason, none include the Galapagos Islands. A time line of the voyage and another of Darwin's life and works enhance understanding. In spite of some weaknesses, this book will spark interest in the subject. Overall it is a good introduction to a famous voyage and the scientific theories coming from it.-Peg Glisson, Mendon Center Elementary School, Pittsford, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Enchanted Lion Books
Publication date:
Inside... Series
Product dimensions:
8.86(w) x 11.38(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Fiona Macdonald studied history at Cambridge University and at the University of East Anglia. She has taught at schools and universities and is the author of numerous books for children on historical topics. Mark Bergin has illustrated numerous children's books. He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea with his wife and three children.

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