The artwork is beautiful and includes reproductions from medieval illuminated versions. (It's extremely annoying that you can't search inside the book, so you'll have to take my word for it.) The approach is sophisticated, leaving as an open question whether Marco Polo embroidered the truth or made up his tale out of whole cloth, and children will learn about Kublai Khan's empire, with its efficient messenger service and paper money. The vocabulary is challenging for grade-school children.
What a fascinating book describing some of Marco Polo's adventures! The reading level of 9-11 is accurate in general depending on the child's reading level. It wouldn't have been a challenge for my 11 y/o son, but for the sake of my 7 y/o I decided that we should read it together. We not only enjoyed reading about the Polos' adventures, but also about the controversies that have surrounded Marco's book, and his great influence during the Middle Ages and beyond. This book has been a great addition to our study of the Silk Road, the Mongol Empire, and geography (Italy, the Near East, Central Asia, and the Far East). It contains two maps that are very helpful. LQ.
Russell Freedman's THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO covers all the controversies surrounding the legendary explorer who claimed to have seen rocks burn and met bandits who could conjure up sandstorms. Marco's vivid, often fantastical descriptions of his travels shook Europe: was he a courageous adventurer, or a fake with a vivid imagination? In exploring the rumors surrounding Marco Polo, ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO comes to life more than your usual elementary-level biography.
This is a wonderful book for introducing Marco Polo. It is a more difficult early book, but well written so that even though it's challenging to a young reader, they can understand the main ideas and really get a "feel" for what Marco experienced. My son really enjoyed this book. (3rd grader)
We enjoyed reading this book as a family. It is informative and interesting. Our kids especially liked the authenticity of illustrations. It helped them get a better feel of the historical period being described
Do namesakes affect personalities? A recently born grandson was named Marco which is an unusual name for today's generation. My first thought turned to Marco Polo. Scanning the availability of books available in the Amazon store, I choose this one because of the Art work. I figured the various colors would capture my grandson's attention with the meaning of the words to follow later as he grew older. I wonder how often he will request his father to read this book to him and how that will affect what and who he becomes in adult life.