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Overview

Marco Polo was seventeen when he set out for China . . . and forty-one when he came back! More than seven hundred years ago, Marco Polo traveled from the medieval city of Venice to the fabled kingdom of the great Kublai Khan, seeing new sights and riches that no Westerner had ever before witnessed. But did Marco Polo experience the things he wrote about . . . or was it all made-up? Young readers are presented ...
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Who Was Marco Polo?

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Overview

Marco Polo was seventeen when he set out for China . . . and forty-one when he came back! More than seven hundred years ago, Marco Polo traveled from the medieval city of Venice to the fabled kingdom of the great Kublai Khan, seeing new sights and riches that no Westerner had ever before witnessed. But did Marco Polo experience the things he wrote about . . . or was it all made-up? Young readers are presented with the facts in this entertaining, highly readable Who Was . . . ? biography with black-and-white artwork by John O?Brien.


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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Debbie Levy
This biography of the famed Venetian traveler is certainly accessible to young readers, with a breezy, casual style and generous illustrations. Almost every page is enhanced by black-and-white drawings depicting the people, places, things, and animals described in the text. Holub traces Marco Polo's life, from his childhood in Venice, to his travels in the Middle East and Asia, to his life in China and his return home twenty-four years later. Numerous sidebars, presented in a graphic-novel style, provide context to the available details of Marco Polo's life. In discussing Polo's book, The Travels of Marco Polo, Holub raises interesting and important questions that historians have asked for centuries about the veracity of the traveler's tales. On occasion, the author's otherwise commendable efforts to be fresh and lively produce awkward results, such as a long fragment masquerading as a sentence on the very first pageā€”or, later in the book, assertions such as the following: "[T]he Islamic prophet Muhammad rose to heaven in Jerusalem" (without indicating that this is a belief, not a fact) or, "Even though Kublai [Khan] had murdered many people and grabbed their land, Marco thought he was a fair ruler." The book is part of the "Who Was. . .?" original paperback series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101639894
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/5/2007
  • Series: Who Was...? Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 149,289
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Joan Holub
The reason I'm a children's book author/illustrator today is that I have a lot of determination. I practiced drawing and revised my stories over and over because I wanted nothing more than to do what I'm doing now--writing and illustrating children's books.



I always knew I'd become an artist and studied art in college in Texas. After graduating from college, I became an Art Director at a graphic design firm. I moved from Texas to New York to work in children's publishing. I got a job as Associate Art Director in children's books at Scholastic, where I designed books and enjoyed working with editors and illustrators. This was excellent experience.



I illustrated my first children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I had always written stories, but I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990's. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap) -- both published in 1997.



Now I write and illustrate full time. It is a great job. When I think of a idea, I write it down so that whenever I finish one story I'll have a bunch of ideas waiting that I can begin working on next. I especially love reading and writing funny stories, weird stories, and animal stories.



Books I've written and illustrated include:


Cinderdog and the Wicked Stepcat Albert Whitman, 2001 (ages 4-8, picture book)

Abby Cadabra, Super Speller, Grosset & Dunlap, 2000 (ages 6-8, easy reader)

How to Find Lost Treasure in All Fifty States and Canada, Too Aladdin, 2000 (ages 8-12, NF)

The Haunted States of America Aladdin, 2001 (ages 8-12, NF)

Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars, 2001 Grosset & Dunlap (ages 6-9, NF)

Happy Monster Day! Scholastic,1999

Pen Pals Grosset & Dunlap, 1997 (ages 6-8, easy reader)

Ivy Green, Cootie Queen Troll, 1998 (ages 7-9)

Red, Yellow, Green What Do Signs Mean? Scholastic, 1998 (ages 4-8)

Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book Scholastic, 1997 (ages 1-6)

Eek-A-Boo! A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book Scholastic, 2000 (ages 1-6)



Books I've written include:


I Have A Weird Brother Who Digested A Fly, Albert Whitman, 1999 (picture book)

Light the Candles, A Hanukkah Lift the Flap Book, Puffin, 2000

The Garden That We Grew Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)

The Pizza That We Made Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)

Scat Cats! Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)

Backwards Day, Scholastic, 2000

Why Do Dogs Bark? Puffin, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)

Why Do Cats Meow? Puffin, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)

The Spooky Sleepover, Grosset & Dunlap, 1999 (ages 6-8, easy reader)

Pajama Party Grosset & Dunlap, 1998 (ages 4-7, easy reader)

Space Dogs on Planet K-9 Troll, 1998 (ages 7-10)



Books I've illustrated include:


Breakout at the Bug Lab Dial, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)

Hector's Hiccups Random House, 1999

Shadows Everywhere Scholastic, 1999

Hot Cha-Cha! Winslow Press

No Fair! Scholastic, Hello Math

The 100th Day of School Scholastic

Ten Little Ballerinas Grosset & Dunlap

I Love You Mom Troll

I Love You Dad Troll

My First Book of Sign Language Troll



Answers to questions people sometimes ask me:



1. Where do you get your ideas?


I get ideas many different ways. Sometimes, ideas just pop into my head. I also listen to and watch the people around me for ideas. I read to get ideas. I daydream to get ideas. When I get an idea, I write it down in an idea notebook, so I won't forget it. I think ideas are the easy part of writing. I get lots of ideas for books all the time. Developing them into a book with a beginning, middle and end is the difficult, time-consuming part. The idea is important, but an idea isn't a book until it has been developed into a story that works as a whole from start to finish.



2. When and why did you decide to become an author and artist?


I've been writing and reading stories all of my life. I didn't concentrate on writing children's books until around 1990. In 1991, I began regularly submitting manuscripts to publishers.I began writing because I had story ideas that I thought would make good books. I've always known I would become an artist--ever since kindergarten.



3. Why don't you illustrate all of the books you write?


I haven't had time to illustrate all of the books I write, but I've usually been very happy with the work of the illustrators who have illustrated my books. I wasn't happy with the art in a couple of books, but I don't think it's fair to try and control the artist, so I keep out of the artist's way as much as possible. I continue to illustrate books by other authors as well. I have just as much fun illustrating a book written by someone else as I do illustrating books I write. As long as the story is good, illustrating it is fun.



4. Did you like school when you were a kid?


Most of the time. I got bored during the summer, so I was glad when school started. I loved getting a new lunchbox and choosing what I would wear the first day. But then after about 2 weeks of school, I wished for summer again. I like to read and I made good grades, so school was mostly fun for me.



5. How do you develop your characters and plot?


I've usually already decided on a main charater and 1/4 to 3/4 of a plot before I start writing a story. I just write and work out the rest of the characters and plot as I go along. I have a college art degree, but have no formal training as a writer. I learn the rhythm and structure of stories by reading books and thinking about how they are structured. I also read instructional books about how to write.



6. What is your favorite part about writing? Why?


Getting an idea; finishing a book manuscript; getting an offer from a publisher; and seeing my book in a store are all big thrills. The process of writing is not always fun. But I'm driven to write, and time flies when I'm writing.



7. How hard has it been to get your works published?


It was hard to sell the first manuscript. Then in 1996, I suddenly sold three manuscripts in three months to Grosset & Dunlap and Scholastic.



8. What are your favorite books besides the one(s) you have written?


Spaceship Under the Apple Tree; Martha Speaks; The Giving Tree; A Friend for Dragon; Chrysanthemum; Ruby the Copycat; Marvin Redpost--Is He A Girl?



9. What do you look for in a good book?


Something I think is funny or a feeling I can strongly identify with. A good idea and a memorable plot and characters.



10. Do you have kids or pets? Hobbies?


No kids, but we do have a great cat, who thinks he's our child. For hobbies, I like to hike, bikeride, and read.





























































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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2011

    WONDERFUL and educational. We give it a 5 star rating.

    Great book! Great Series. We liked it so much we are getting more of the WHO WAS? series for my grandson. These are very educational and easy for anyone to read and understand. They will be great as a future reference library!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Who Was Marco Polo? (Who Was...? Series) (2007) by Joan Holub is a MUST HAVE for all elementary classrooms! It is entertaining, yet educational in so many ways!

    Who Was Marco Polo? by Joan Holub is the first book that I have read in the "Who Was...? Series," and it won't be my last! For those that may be unfamiliar with the "Who Was..? Series," the books are all biographies about well-known historical figures that are written in a kid-friendly way, by several different authors.

    Who Was Marco Polo? is a MUST HAVE in any elementary classroom! This book not only serves as a source of reading pleasure for students, but is a great instructional tool as well! It is an excellent resource to use when introducing elementary students to biographies! The historical tale of Marco Polo is told in a narrative format that is easy to follow and is very interesting! The use of suspense entwined with interesting facts about Marco Polo kept me on my toes the whole time! The chapters that divide the different timeframes and events of Polo's life make it easy to remember significant events, as well as the "Timeline of Marco Polo's Life" that is included in the back of the book. This book will definitely motivate students to read more biographies!

    This book also includes 2-3 pages in-between each chapter that focuses on relevant historical information relating to the timeframe in which Marco Polo lived. "If You Lived In Europe At The Time of Marco Polo," "Gutenberg's New Printing Press," and "If You Were Chinese At The Time of Marco Polo" are just a few titles of these pages! These pages are very interesting and can be used in the classroom as a springboard into the study of other historical events, along with the "Timeline of the World" that is included in the back of the book!

    Lastly, what I especially liked about this book as an elementary school teacher is that it is appropriate for a wide age range of students. While its larger print, shorter chapters and pictures make it a great beginning chapter book for second graders, the historical content of the book and fascinating story of Marco Polo is appropriate for grades 2nd-5th!

    As evident from my strong review of this book, I strongly recommend that elementary teachers make Who Was Marco Polo? the next addition to their classroom library!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2007

    Read about the thrilling life of Marco Polo and how he inspired Christopher Columbus

    Read about how Marco Polo grew up in Venice and was trained by his family to be a merchant. He read all about different types of money and measurements used around the world to help him to trade goods. You'll learn how 17 year-old Marco traveled with his father and uncle on a long and dangerous trip to Asia. As a young man, he wrote about his travels in his journal to help other merchants that traveled after him to Asia. He met the Kublai Khan in his palace who gave the Polos protective charms, goods, crewman and ships for their travels. You'll also learn about how he was captured in a battle and put in a Genoa jail. While in jail he met an author named Rustichello who helped Marco write about his travels. And the book ends with a fascinating description of the history of printing and new ways of book printing.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Boring

    I couldnt really understand it and he went too so many different places.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    So good

    Good book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2014

    Read this comment

    Lol

    I always thought it was just a game

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Hahihahi

    did you know there is a game calld morc polo? it is a water game www. who was .com or call 987465231 must 18 or older to order

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Stop talking

    Stop

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Teachbe

    This book is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I reccomend not to read it

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Fart docter

    Farts smell bad

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    I

    O

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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