Westward with Columbus: Set Sail on the Voyage That Changed the World
Contains Illustrations, Maps
Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.
Eight- to twelve-year-olds will enjoy this well-written and beautifully
illustrated account of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage from Spain
to America and its 1990 re-enactment.
The book is a wonderful blend of historical and nautical facts,
adventure, and descriptive color. Text, art, and photos are joined in a
symbiotic relationship dedicated to spiriting the reader away on a
mysterious voyage “to certain parts of the Ocean Sea.” The tale is
told through the eyes of 12-year-old Pedro, who dreams of adventures on
the high seas and lucks into a job as “grommet,” or ship’s boy,
for Columbus, “the madman of Genoa.” His experiences of near-mutiny
and shipwreck will fascinate young readers. The fictionalized story of
Pedro’s adventures is paralleled by photos of the 1990 retracing of
Columbus’s voyage by a group of Spanish students. A final chapter
describes the replica of Columbus’s favorite ship, the Nina, and the
modern-day experience of sailing the Atlantic under fifteenth-century
Young readers will appreciate the dust jacket, which reverses to a
full-color wall poster; parents and teachers will appreciate the
meticulous research, the glossary, and the bibliography.