Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air


Ready to relive some of the most daring voyages of all time? Unfold these spectacular cross sections and explore fourteen historic journeys.

Open this dynamic book and discover how the greatest explorers in history — from Marco Polo to Neil Armstrong — plunged into the unknown and boldly pieced together the picture of the world we have today. With the help of masterful cross sections, dramatic storytelling, and sidebars that highlight key ...

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Ready to relive some of the most daring voyages of all time? Unfold these spectacular cross sections and explore fourteen historic journeys.

Open this dynamic book and discover how the greatest explorers in history — from Marco Polo to Neil Armstrong — plunged into the unknown and boldly pieced together the picture of the world we have today. With the help of masterful cross sections, dramatic storytelling, and sidebars that highlight key concepts, places, and technology, immerse yourself in such expeditions as:
—Leif Eriksson’s voyage to North America (eleventh century)
—Zheng He’s travels from China to East Africa (fifteenth century)
—Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe (sixteenth century)
—Tenzing Norgay’s and Edmund Hillary’s scaling of Mt. Everest
(twentieth century)
—Plus ten more exciting journeys!

A 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Nonfiction Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
Into the Unknown provides a detailed overview of well know, and some lesser known, explorers and their journeys in ships, rockets, balloons and submarines. The title has fourteen in-depth narrative chapters with cross sections of the vehicles used to accomplish the quests. The explorations are arranged chronologically and include explorers from many cultures and journeys to different continents. It begins with the remarkable adventures of ancient explorers Pytheas and Leif Eriksson, and then looks at the fascinating exploits of medieval explorers like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Magellan. A dramatic account of bold polar explorers, mountaineers, and astronauts provides more current ventures. Ross includes information about the lives and careers of the explorers, a brief history of the time period, how their discoveries impacted the way people viewed the world, and the daunting dangers they faced. He chronicles the motivations of each exploration (fame, research or riches) and the success or failure of the journey. Stephen Biesty creates the vivid intricate cross-sections that explain how things were built, how the mechanics worked, the supplies and equipment transported, and how the crews lived. This title will make an outstanding addition to collections of world history and will draw visual learners. It could be used for writing a report, and the attractive illustrations and interesting details will also attract a browser. Readers who enjoy the Eyewitness series by Dorling Kindersley will appreciate this book. A bibliography, index and glossary are included. This title is appropriate for middle, high school and public libraries. Reviewer: Eileen Kuhl
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Have you ever stopped and thought about the type of person who would set out on a journey of discovery? Whether it was the crewmen who boarded Magellan's ship bound to circumnavigate the world, Polar explorers trying to travel to the North Pole, Marco Polo's epic journey to China, or the astronauts who literally rode on the back of massive rockets en route to the moon during the Apollo Program, mankind has a basic wanderlust that drives exploration. In this illustrated work, readers are given insights into the nature of such voyages of discovery, the vehicles, and other modes of transport used by explorers; and the magnificent complexity of such travel. Using a combined approach that includes a well-developed text, striking visuals, and fascinating fold out deconstructions of period transport, Ross presents a book destined to catch the interest of readers. Perhaps the most engaging feature in this book are the illustrations and, in particular, the periodic fold out detail elements that offer readers colorful maps, topographic perspectives, and cut away looks at the inner workings of ships, rockets, and other modes of travel. Readers with a sense of curiosity or an adventuresome spirit will come away from this book with a deeper appreciation of the courage, and sometimes foolhardiness, of explorers. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—The major accomplishments of 14 explorers are presented with strong support from illustrations. Chapters move chronologically from Pytheas in 340 BC to the 1969 Moon landing, combining famous names such as Marco Polo and Magellan with lesser-known but equally interesting figures including Mary Kingsley (Africa), Umberto Nobile (North Pole), and Auguste Piccard (stratospheric flight and deep-sea submersion). Each chapter provides basic background on the topic, then focuses largely on the nuts and bolts of the journeys, including travel conditions, navigation techniques, and vehicle construction. Lively writing captures the excitement of exploration while providing just enough geographic and historical detail. Biesty's pencil and colored pencil artwork ably builds upon the text, with each chapter featuring several insets plus one dramatic gatefold per chapter. In each fairly sturdy foldout, an initial illustration expands in two consecutive unfoldings to reveal further details. For Piccard's undersea exploration, for example, a map identifies the location of the Mariana Trench. This unfolds to show the depth levels of the descent, with helpful visual comparisons to a stack of Empire State Buildings (for depth) and Airbuses (for air pressure). The sequence climaxes with a final foldout depicting Piccard's deep-sea craft in detail, with labeled cross-sections in Biesty's appealing style. Other appropriate touches round out the well-conceived package, including pages with textured paper effects to match the era, from early parchment to a Moon map for the Apollo 11 voyage. Useful for report writers, attractive to browsers, and just right for readers who are curious about the adventure of exploration.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Biesty's trademark amusing, informatively detailed illustrations are a highlight of this entertaining examination of several voyages of exploration. Brief chapters in chronological order are presented on durable, very light cardboard stock with backgrounds appropriate to the era of the voyage: parchment, notebook paper, graph paper, etc. Chapters cover an impressive range of exploration. In addition to the usual suspects, they include a 340 B.C.E. Greek voyage to the Arctic Circle; Chinese Admiral Zheng He to India; David Livingston and Mary Kingsley into the African interior; Umberto Nobile flying over the North Pole, August and Jacques Piccard to the stratosphere and the bottom of the Marianas Trench, respectively; Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the top of Everest; and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Each chapter includes a fold-out section of illustrations with a map of the journey and a cross-section of the method of transportation. Other illustrations expand on some of the equipment mentioned in the text. The fold-outs fit nicely into the volume, smaller than the "real" pages so they close up neatly. The chapters provide a level of detail that's just right for entertainment; intrigued readers may try some of the sources listed in the backmatter. (These are mostly primary source materials, potentially daunting for young readers.) An altogether agreeable package for armchair explorers. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)
Abby McGanney Nolan
…this engaging guide…convey[s] the adventurers' motivations as well as the geographical and logistical challenges involved in each quest.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763649487
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stewart Ross has written more than 200 titles for children and adults about (or inspired by) history. He lives in Canterbury, England.

Stephen Biesty is the creator of Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections, which sold more than a million copies worldwide since its publication in 1992. He lives in Somerset, England.

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