History, geography and social studies teachers who are looking to spice up their curriculum would do well to consider adding the new paperback adventure book, Eureka! The Most Amazing Scientific Discoveries of All Time into the mix. Meticulously researched, organized and written by Deborah Kespert, this book is the “adventurers bible” when it comes to marrying the history of civilization with life as we know it today.
Avid young explorers learn what went down during Robert Scott’s and Roald Amundsen’s race to the south pole (i.e., they didn’t make it!). They also get the real scoop about Christopher Columbus’ trek across the ocean (his crew were seriously considering mutany), they accompany Marco Polo on his Asian adventure, and they get to observe Lewis and Clark as they set out to tame the wild, wild west. There are details about Amelia Earhart and her attempt to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean, and an exciting bio about Mary Kingsley, a proper Britain who explored the African jungle and fought off crocodiles with nothing more than her trusty umbrella.
The book’s content is divided into five categories: Polar, Ocean, Land, Desert, Sky and New Frontiers. Each adventure offers tips that are vital to an explorer’s survival, like “how to avoid frostbite,” “how to climb the rigging of a ship’s Crow’s Nest,” “how to treat scurvy,” and even “how to be a good leader.”
Ms. Kespert’s prose is fast-paced, factual, and “edge-of-your-seat” exciting. The illustrations are a combination of colorful sketches and real-life photographs, and serve to round out the picture of what it is like to think, move, and dress like an explorer.
This book can be used to supplement social studies, science, history or geography courses. It can be used to kick start a conversation on exploration and expansion. Or, it can serve as great independent reading for budding history-lovers.