Explorers

One of the great joys of being human is the joy of finding. Whether as a child you "discovered" the creek in your back yard, or as an adult you realized the road you always neglected was really a shortcut to work, uncovering new things can be downright exhilirating. Unless, of course, you uncover bad things, a situation many of the great explorers have found themselves in too often.

That doesn't keep them from seeking new territories, foreign rivers, inland passages—in fact, it's almost as if hardship and defeat spur them on to greater feats and attempts. Ernest Shackleton's trip to the South Pole was disaster upon cataclysm, but with each difficulty the crew's resolve became deeper and more determined. Shackleton and his men couldn't not explore: it was in their blood.

Now that we've been everywhere and done everything, exploration might seem like an anachronism. Man has climbed Mt. Everest, submarined to the deepest eel-infested parts of the ocean, and walked on the moon—what's a canoe trip down the Amazon or a stroll through the Outback? Maybe not much from that perspective, but when the whole big world is still unknown and largely inhospitable, shouldering a pack and a rifle and heading into the unknown takes one thing our age has precious little of: guts.

A lot of exploration was undertaken by missionaries eager to take the Word of God to every tribe and nation. The darker side of that is the European politicos who followed behind to exploit natural resources, native peoples, and each other. Either way, the story of exploration is a fascinating one, and a must-read if you expect to understand the current world economic and political situation.

Even more compelling than the story of exploration, however, is the story of the explorers themselves. Exploration is a picture painted with broad strokes, but when presenting the men themselves the artist must show the details, each weakness and virtue, each fear and desire, that made them brave scorpions, bloodthirsty hunters, desert sands, snow and ice, sickness, and death in the name of discovery.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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Adventurous Life of Myles Standish
by Cheryl Harness
from National Geographic
for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Around the World in a Hundred Years
by Jean Fritz
from Scholastic Inc.
Biography for 2nd-5th grade
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$3.50 (2 in stock)
Attack at Michilimackinac 1763
by David Armour
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Brendan Voyage
Modern Library Exploration
by Tim Severin
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Bud & Me
by Alta Abernathy, Barbara Harris
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Captain Cook & His Exploration of the Pacific
Great Explorers
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Cartier
Exploring the World
by Jean F. Blashfield
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Biography for 2nd-6th grade
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Christopher Columbus
Sowers Series
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Christopher Columbus
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Christopher Columbus
by Charlotte & David Yue
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Christopher Columbus
Step into Reading Level 3
by Stephen Krensky
from Random House
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Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of the New World
by Jim Gallagher
from Chelsea House Publishing
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Christopher Columbus: Sailing to a New World
by Adrianna Morganelli
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Columbus
by John Dyson
from Simon and Schuster
Biography for 7th-12th grade
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Columbus and the Age of Discovery
by William Scheller, Zvi Dor-Ner
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Columbus and the Renaissance Explorers
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Danger in the Desert
by Roger Cohen
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$4.50 (1 in stock)
Daniel Boone
by Daniel Boone
from Applewood Books
Biography for 4th-8th grade
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Daniel Boone
by Stewart Edward White
from Doubleday & Company
Biography for 4th-6th grade
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Daniel Boone: Young Hunter and Tracker
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Augusta Stevenson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
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David Livingstone
by Fern Neal Stocker
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Biography for 4th-8th grade
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David Livingstone
by Ben Alex
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Discovery of the Americas
by Betsy & Giulio Maestro
from Scholastic Inc.
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Discovery of the Americas
by Betsy & Giulio Maestro
1st edition from HarperCollins
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Eric the Red & Leif the Lucky
by Barbara Schiller
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Explorers News
The History News
by Michael Johnstone
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Explorers Who Got Lost
by Diane Dreher
from Tor Classic
Non-fiction for 4th-8th grade
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$6.00 (2 in stock)
Explorers, Missionaries, and Trappers
by Kieran Doherty
from Oliver-Nelson Books
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in Western Expansion (1800-1898) (Location: HISA-19WES)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Ferdinand Magellan
by Scott Brewster
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$4.50 (1 in stock)
Ferdinand Magellan
by Milton Meltzer
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in Exploration (1450-1900) (Location: HISA-16EXP)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Ferdinand Magellan
Isaac Asimov's Pioneers of Science and Exploration
by Isaac Asimov
A Gareth Stevens Children's Books ed from Gareth Stevens Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: Biographies (Location: CLE-BIO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Ferdinand Magellan
by Ronald Welch
from Criterion Books
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Ferdinand Magellan and the Discovery of the World Ocean
by Rebecca Stefoff
from Chelsea House Publishing
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Fifty Mighty Men
by Grant MacEwan
from Western Publishing
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$3.00 (1 in stock)
First Voyage to America
by Christopher Columbus
from Dover Publications
Historical Primary Sources for 10th-Adult
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Flight
by Robert Burleigh
from Philomel Books
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Great Lives
by Neville Williams
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Going West with Jim Breanan
by Tom Plemons
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Golden Admiral
by F. Van Wyck Mason
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Ice Bound
by Jerri Nielsen, Mary Anne Vollers
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Into the Unknown
Highlights from American History
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Isabel, Ferdinand and Fifteenth-Century Spain
by Kenny Mann
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John Audubon
Young Patriots series
by Miriam E. Mason
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John Cabot
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John Charles Frémont
by Charles W. Maynard
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Juan Ponce de Leon
by Louise Chipley Slavicek
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Juan Ponce de Leon and the Search for the Fountain of Youth
by Daniel E. Harmon
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Lewis and Clark
by George Sullivan
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Lindbergh
by Chris L. Demarest
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Magellan
by Michael Burgan
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