Travel back with author R. M. Ballantyne to the late eighteenth century and join Captain James Cook on his scientific expeditions to such exotic places as Tierra del Fuego, the islands of Tahiti and New Zealand, and the scene of the closing of his great career as navigator and discoverer. Learn from Cook's own observations and Ballantyne's detailed, yet tasteful and true explanations of the habitations, customs, and encounters with unusual peoples, many of whom were so addicted to the eating of human flesh that their homelands were once called the Cannibal Islands. The author's depictions should evoke a great appreciation for the brave leadership of men like Captain Cook, for the many difficulties of interacting with a heathen people and their culture, and for the servants of Jesus Christ who would later enter into such awful scenes for the sake of His Name and the advancement of His kingdom.
Also included in this book is Ballantyne's Fighting the Whales (book description below).
In this adventure on the high-seas, Bob Ledbury, a young man raised by a godly and devoted mother, sets sail on his first whaling cruise at just fifteen years of age. Through his first person accounts, he describes the goings-on of the whaling vessel as witnessed with the awe and innocence of youth. A major industry at this time, though one fraught with danger and loss of life, this story provides an exciting view into the battle to take a whale, how the whales were harvested, and every part processed for various economic purposes as a financial asset.
Ledbury never strays from the foundation upon which his mother built his character and his heart often turns to her while his thoughts recount the lessons she has taught him from the Bible. R. M. Ballantyne presents a beautiful portrait of a loving mother and son relationship, and the fruit of that relationship as seen in a young man who never shirks his duty, shrinks from danger or turns down an adventure.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but fiction is a valuable assistant in the development of truth," stated R.M. Ballantyne in discussing the advantage of using the storybook to deliver interesting and valuable information to young people thirsty for knowledge. In Fighting the Whales, he skillfully delivers both truth and fiction with the masterful pen of one who can so adeptly thread the adventures of a young sailor to the actual skills required to successfully accomplish the goals set forth on a whaling vessel in the 1800s.