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Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu Paperback – October 11, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-In 1911, Hiram Bingham and a team of archaeologists went in search of Vilcapampa, the legendary lost city of the Inca. In this picture-book account of that expedition, Lewin relates Bingham's journey from Cusco to the jungles of Peru and from there, led by a local child, to mountaintop ruins. The site wasn't Vilcapampa, but rather an isolated, impenetrable ancient city of temples, dwellings, plazas, and terraces connected by steep staircases. Distinguished double-page watercolor paintings capture the grandeur of the location, the monumental solidity of the Inca stonework, and the surrounding jungle. The final pages continue the story with information on the work involved in preparing the ruins for excavation and some initial findings and include a useful pronunciation guide to Spanish and Quechua words. Follow this title with Elizabeth Mann's Machu Picchu (Mikaya, 2000) for background on the people who built this city, and to learn what later excavations yielded.
Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. In 1911, a Yale professor in search of a lost Inca city was led to the site of Machu Picchu by local Indians. In this lavishly illustrated picture book, Lewin traces Professor Bingham's steps through the tangled mountain jungle to his exciting discovery. The language is graceful and uncomplicated, weaving in bits of background history along the way, and Lewin builds suspense at just the right pace: "They came to a grand stone staircase. Where could this lead? What else was here?" But it's the artwork that will really attract attention. Full-page watercolor spreads of the stunning vistas and thick forests contrast with dark, intimate views of Bingham inside homes and walking along walled city streets, searching for leads. A map of Peru and suggested further reading lists would have been welcome additions, but Lewin includes comprehensive notes that explain the excavation of Machu Picchu, as well as the primary sources he consulted. An exciting, eye-catching story for early elementary social studies units. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: AD670L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (October 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014242580X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142425800
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Golomb VINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dominated by beautiful artwork, this picture book traces Hiram Bingham's trek from Cuzco to his discovery of Machu Picchu - the so-called Lost City of the Incas. A few of the key characters involved in this specific segment of Bingham's 1911 are interspersed into the short book, but the boy whose family was living and farming on Machu Picchu and led Bingham to the ruins, creates a dreamlike quality to the tale. Lewins' watercolors fill the entire pages and explode with color, shading, details and subtlety. The story is written in language appropriate for readers in grades 1-3, and works equally wonderfully when read by an adult.

Machu Picchu was named one of the NEW seven wonders of the world in 2007 and Bingham's "discovery" of Machu Picchu celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. My 7-year-old stared at the images in Lewin's book in awe, and could relate to the boy who leads Bingham to the incredible stonework ruins that straddle two magnificent peaks of the might Andes. This is a terrific introduction to a legendary story of a legendary people.
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Format: Hardcover
Accessibly written and very beautifully by Caldecott Honor Winner Ted Lewin, Lost City: The Discovery Of Machu Picchu is a picturebook history presentation about a 1911 journey into Peru in search of Vilcapampa, the lost city of the Incas. What was actually discovered was the forgotten city of Machu Picchu, resulting in an extraordinary testimony to archaeological history and a Native American legacy, in this wonderfully illustrated, deftly told, and strongly recommended story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 5 year old was captivated by the story of the search for the lost city of the Incas. We read this book many times before our visit to Machu Picchu. She was thrilled to climb up the steep trail and come out on the hill overlooking the city to find the view "looks just like in my story!"

There's enough detail to make the story interesting for adults to read aloud. The inclusion of the little boy who helps Bingham locate the lost city makes the story even more enticing for young readers. My daughter remembered all the facts from the story and was so excited to see the real place and learn that it was a true story.

I very strongly recommend this book for young kids interested in Andean peoples or who will be visiting Machu Picchu.
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Format: Paperback
Review for Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu

This is not the story of Machu Picchu but of the discovery of this lost city by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

The hardcover is 9.5 X 11, a good size for small hands to hold and even better to see the vibrant watercolor images throughout the story. The author/illustrator totally captures the imagination. To start a story with a very small boy looking very small high up in these very tall Andes mountains commands attention. The dwellings and the flora seem very to reflect the site well.

Lewin's rendering of the stone walls in Cuzco is dramatic especially when he puts humans next to them. Our little one's attention never strayed. There is a mini lesson in culture as local costumes---hats, shoes, ponchos, narrow streets---give the flavor of the area.

Lewin does as well on nature scenes. Wild canyons, rivers, granite cliffs are rendered in beautiful colors ensuring a child's attention. The illustration of Bingham crossing river torrents on a flimsy bridge on his hands and knees is something many of us can relate to. The jungle scene with almost hidden snakes makes one sit up.

The fact that a real boy led Bingham to this magnificent ruin is exciting to a child and is the stuff dreams are made of. Of course, if you're the adult reading the story to the child you will have questions to contend with, such as "What happened to the little boy?" "When can we go?" "Where does Mr. Bingham live now?" OK Google, here we come.

Parents and librarians, this is a good book to have available for your young charges to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for my 7-year-old nephew. I recently returned from a trip to Peru and my nephew was asking a lot of questions about the Inca and Machu Picchu. There aren't many books for kids for sale in the US about Machu Picchu, but this one is very good at telling the story from the point of view of Bingham and the boy who helped him to "discover" Machu Picchu.

I think the illustrations are beautiful and the story held my nephew's attention.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointed is what comes to mind as a review for this book. Very short, no depth to the story. Would not recommend this book to anyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Witty and informative. A wonderful introduction to both the place and the history of the man who brought bake to the world's attention.
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