Monday, April 14, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: How High Can We Climb

Atkins, Jeannine. 2005. How High Can We Climb

HOW HIGH CAN WE CLIMB: THE STORY OF WOMEN EXPLORERS is an enjoyable read on the lives of twelve women explorers over the past 240 years. Seemingly well-researched, HOW HIGH CAN WE CLIMB focuses on women divers, women mountain-climbers, women archaeologists, women cave-explorers, women arctic (and antarctic) explorers, and women sailors. Spanning from the 1760s to the present day, the book examines the lives of these twelve explorers: Jeanne Baret, Florence Baker, Annie Smith Peck, Josephine Peary, Arnarulunguaq, Elisabeth Casteret, Nicole Maxwell, Sylvia Earle, Junko Tabei, Kay Cottee, Sue Hendrickson, and Ann Bancroft. The book also explores the lives of other explorers--male and female--that were contemporaries of these explorers and often worked alongside or influenced these twelve women.

It is an enjoyable and often fascinating read. The book includes a selected bibliography for women explorers as well as selected bibliographies for these women as individuals. A timeline and index are included as well. While I can overlook the "fictionalized" dialogue included in HOW HIGH CAN WE CLIMB and the lack of source notes, I must say that the use of photographs and maps would have been more appealing to me than the black and white sketches of Dusan Petricic. Photographs, source notes, and more direct quoting from primary sources (instead of fictionalized dialogue) would have earned the book five stars instead of four.

Still I must say that I accept the book for what it is instead of rejecting it for what it is not. It is a very ENJOYABLE read. And I learned so much from reading it.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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