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Hudson Hardcover – September 14, 2010
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From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
This beautifully illustrated book provides factual information about Hudson's life in an interesting way. The combination of photographs of artifacts, era paintings, historical maps, and new illustrations by David Craig add depth the visual aspects of the book.
Hudson's story is told chronologically through a series of short, focused chapters. The author is careful to point out that little factual information is known about his life, so the narrative focuses on those elements that have been established through history.
I was particularly drawn to information that's often overlooked in books for young people. Half and whole page informational boxes woven throughout the book provide insights into the time period, tools, or other interesting background content. For instance, the author explains that we really don't know what the explorer looked like because the paintings of him were created by people who never met him.
Long sentences and some complex language may limit the appeal of the book for younger researchers. However middle grade students investigating explorers will find the text very useful for projects.
Pages about historical sites and monuments, suggestions for additional reading, and a useful index are found at the end of the book.
Overall, Hudson is an excellent example of quality writing for young people.
She immediately grabbed my attention by her lively prose and the fact the she didn't waste my time boring me with dates, but instead focused upon those things that students of history, or beginning history readers, are going to find interesting. Things like scurvy, rebellion, scheming, starving, being shot through the neck with an arrow, and jail time.
Since I was trained as an historian I can be pretty critical as to how material is handled, but I've got no complaints here. The author doesn't just pretend that we know everything there is to know about Hudson, the way some textbooks do. Instead she explains to the reader that there are large gaps in Hudson's timeline, and that we don't even know what he looks like.
At the end Ms. Weaver further endeared herself to me by suggesting that young readers look to the primary sources of Hudson's time -- like Hudson's and Juet's logs -- rather than other textbooks. This is the only way, in my opinion, to ever grow a love of the study of history.
"Hudson" is a beautiful book. The cover is especially nice as it has full color images just like the jacket, instead of being just plain with a title. The jacket is really cool in that there's an excellent map of Hudson's voyages on the inside.
Ms. Weaver presents a quick, but thorough mini-history of Hudson that focuses on the important aspects of his journeys and the reasons for them, rather than boring old dates. She does a good job of making the dangers and discomfort of those early sea voyages come alive.
I like that there are breakouts in this book which discuss side-issues like scurvy, whaling, and mermaids.Read more ›