Gr 4-8-These volumes follow a winning formula: accessible text, abundant and diverse illustrative material, and sidebars that distill the main ideas of each chapter. While nearly a century separates these men, their stories contain interesting similarities. Both were obsessed with searching North America for a long-rumored waterway to the Orient; both cultivated the financial support of heads of state from countries other than their own, creating controversy for themselves and compromising their ability to afford successive ventures; and both eventually set out on voyages from which they never returned. Since little is known of the explorers' youth and formative years, the authors concentrate on their bold expeditions, the grueling details of their lives at sea, and their ultimate role in charting a continent that was mysterious and virtually unknown to Europeans. Saffer offers a colorful portrayal of Hudson as a shrewd and headstrong adventurer who repeatedly ignored the contractual orders of his benefactors and set sail wherever his whims took him. The chapter detailing Hudson's 1609 voyage to present-day Staten Island and New Jersey, diverting up the river that would bear his name, is particularly lively. Shields extols Cabot's entrepreneurial skills and credits him with bringing into focus the topography of the land. Both authors succeed in describing the political, social, and religious intrigue that swirled around their subjects and constantly affected their lives. These books will find eager audiences among report writers and browsers looking for high adventure.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.