Monday, October 12, 2009

Books for Columbus Day

It's Columbus Day, and here are some books with facts about the Spanish explorer and his journey across the Atlantic Ocean in three small ships. While most of these books are meant for ages 8-12, younger readers will find many of the illustrations exciting and colorful. Look for these books using the World Catalog / Amazon search boxes here on BookBag.

Admiral of the Ocean Sea: The Life of Christopher Columbus, by Samuel Eliot Morrison (Little, Brown). A generation ago, this Pulitizer Prize winning biography of Christopher Columbus appeared on almost every recommended reading list for college-bound high school students. Its popularity has waned in recent years, as discoverers of the New World have fallen from honor. But its content is still unrivaled. Lengthy as it is, it reads like a novel from cover to cover. (Ages 12-up)

Christopher Columbus, by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Norman Green (Random House). This easy-to-read account of Columbus's fateful voyage includes maps and a cutaway view of one of his ships. (Ages 4-8)

Columbus Day, by Jimmie Durham (West End Press). Cherokee poet, artist, and social activist Jimmie Durham vividly portrays the Columbus Day holiday from a Native American perspective.(Ages 12-up)

Columbus Day, by Vicki Liestman, illustrated by Rick Hanson. (Carolrhoda Books). This illustrated book tells about Columbus's discovery of the New World and relates the history of Columbus Day. It includes a look atthe controversies surrounding the holiday and discusses both the positive and negative effects of Columbus's first voyage. (Ages 4-8)

First Voyage to America: From the Log of the 'Santa Maria,' by Christopher Columbus (Dover Books). A reprint of a 1938 work, this illustrated book features translated excerpts from the journal Columbus penned during his first voyage. The abridged text ends when the ship reaches land. (Ages 9-up)

If You Were There in 1492, by Barbara Brenner (Simon and Schuster). This amply-illustrated book helps children visualize the world of Christopher Columbus. It examines school, family, government, work, food, clothing, and other aspects of life in Spain, including little-known facts. It also discusses life after the discovery of the New World and portrays the impact Columbus's discovery had on the lives of his contemporaries. (Ages 8-14)

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