Explorers search for new things and make discoveries. In Europe there were many daring explorers who set out to discover new lands.
The fiction and nonfiction trade books recommended in this chapter were selected to help give students some insight into the lives of these explorers, including the dangers they faced and the tremendous discoveries they made.
To introduce the topic of exploration to your class, read aloud The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Gulio Maestro. It begins with the history of early peoples walking to the Americas over a land bridge and ends with Magellan's voyages. The book also relates some of the negative effects of discovery on the way of life of the native peoples.
Pam Conrad created Pedro deSalcedo, who leaves his mother and Spain behind for a job as a cabin boy aboard the Santa Maria. He sails with Christopher Columbus on his first journey to the Americas. Pedro keeps ajournai throughout his voyage, which he intends to present to his mother on his return. This book is recommended for use with the whole class because it is very well written and gives the reader an excellent view of what life might have been like for early explorers. Grades 3–7.
Pam Conrad was born June 18, 1947 in New York City. She began writing in February of 1957 when she was bedridden with the chicken pox. Her mother gave her paper to draw on, but she began writing poetry instead. For many years—during college, early in her marriage, and in early motherhood— she did not write. She returned to college and to writing when her youngest daughter was three years old. She wrote many books and received many awards for her writing.
Pam Conrad died in 1996.