CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005
Featuring 53 incredible stories, this book takes readers on a marvelous voyage of discovery that spans all seven continents. The stories cover major expeditions - of land, sea and air- of the last 150 years, starting with Burton’s and Speke’s search for the source of the Nile in 1857 and ending with the Apollo missions which saw a total of 12 astronauts set foot on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. De Porti has selected the stories, not only on the basis of their historical or scientific merit, but also because of their captivating and intriguing nature. The explorers featured represent both genders, many different nationalities and professions, and both successes and failures, but what they share is a fierce determination, insatiable curiosity, a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to venture into worlds unknown, sometimes even risking death. Some endured disease, blindness and encounters with dangerous animals, while others battled government adversaries, forces of nature, such as icebergs, powerful waves and frigid temperatures, to name a few, and near starvation. Though readers will undoubtedly recognize some famous names - Sir Edmund Hillary, for example, who climbed Mount Everest “because it was there,” and Neil Armstrong, who made history when he became the first man to walk on the moon - some of the lesser known names and the expeditions with which they are associated provide fascinating tales. Expeditions range from Katherine Routledge’s desire to solve the mystery of the stone faces on Easter Island to Maria Reiche’s attempt to solve the puzzle of the plains of Nazca, where ancient Peruvians drew patterns of lines and geometric shapes on the ground which can only be seen from the air, and to Sven Hedin who traced Marco Polo’s route on the Silk Road and discovered the sites of ancient cities.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.