From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-"Celebration" is indeed the word for this exuberant assemblage of 84 amazing and outrageous individuals. Polk's vivid narratives capture the essence of each fascinating life and adventure, while Tiegreen's remarkable graphics create a sense of authenticity and immediacy, wrapping each account in a style that suits it perfectly. Readers feel they are witnesses to history thanks to well-chosen, first-person observations and ample visual contents such as contemporary maps, memorabilia, photos, and art. The "women of discovery" include aristocrats and paupers, ancient Vikings and modern scientists still in their prime. Some lives were more terrible than triumphant, but all "made comprehensible a part of the world that we didn't know, understand, or appreciate until they revealed it to us." The stories are loosely grouped into five freewheeling sections, each with a brief but thought-provoking introduction describing "Early Voyagers," "Intrepid Explorers," "Scientific Explorers," "Artist Explorers," and "Explorers on the Edge." Although a few of the names are well known (Maria Mitchell, Dian Fossey, Zora Neale Hurston), most will come as a complete surprise to readers, who will be wondering why they've never heard of these women before. This beautiful book is a browser's dream, but it should be equally attractive to students as a rich source of interesting research subjects. The authors hope that this book will guide anyone "[setting] forth on his or her own voyage of discovery."-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This book defines exploration as "the expansion of knowledge and experience," enabling Polk (Egyptian Mummies) and Tiegreen (The Legend of the Villa Della Luna) to include women who were writers, pilgrims (a woman's primary mode of travel for centuries), photographers, anthropologists, scientists, aviators, astronauts, and traditional explorers in their collection of illustrated portraits. CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour exemplifies this new standard when she states in the foreword, "I am exploring the human condition rather than physical space." The majority of the 84 entries highlight Western women, although the authors have made a conscious effort to include examples of women explorers from Asia and Africa. The entries are short and contain numerous photographs, illustrations, quotations, and maps. Despite its more multicultural approach, this volume does not supersede Marion Tinling's Women into the Unknown (LJ 5/1/89) or Rebecca Stefoff's Women of the World: Women Travelers and Explorers (o.p.), which provide a much more substantial treatment of the subject. Nevertheless, Polk and Tiegreen's book, with its brief biographical sketches, is engaging and fun to skim. Recommended for public libraries. Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.