Finished: Oct. 15, 2008
First Published: 1991
Genre: children, historical fiction
Reason for Reading: read aloud to my 8yo for school
The ship's roster of the Santa Maria has me down as Pedro de Alcedo, ship's
Comments: Told in a diary format this is the story of Columbus' first voyage to the New World told through the eyes of young ship's boy. It document's well the voyage in search of a route to Asia looking for spices and silk. This is the second time I've read this book aloud and it does make for a good read aloud experience. Conrad mixes fiction with fact to portray a boy of the times who sees things that are wonderful and other things that he finds shameful. The book is a little on the "bad Spaniards/poor Indians" point of view and Columbus' Christian purposes are not brought into play in this story much at all. That aside, it is done is a respectful tone and not over the top politically correct at all. It is a short book, well written and the perfect introduction to children of the life on the high seas during the era of the great explorers.