Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weaver, Janice. Hudson.

Weaver, Janice Hudson
Tundra Books 2010 48p 22.95
978-0-88776-814-9 elm/ms Hudson, Henry VG-BNe

Chronicles the life and accomplishments of Henry Hudson, describing his efforts to find a northern route to China, the mutiny that claimed his life, and the legacy for which he is remembered.
The outward appearance of this book says "picture book". The text inside reads ages 10 to 12, not the publisher suggested ages 8 to 12. This dichotomy may cause this well written and researched book to be overlooked by the target audience. Overlooking the picture book format, and focusing solely on content, readers can╒t help but sympathize with the bad luck that seemed to follow Henry Hudson on his sea faring journeys seeking a passage to China. There is not much known about Hudson and so the focus is on what has been provided by the historical record between 1607 to 1610. Hudson was the captain on four perilous journeys, two heading northeast across the Arctic and two heading to the west and northwest. His 1609 voyage on the Half Moon traveled up the river in New York that bears his name and helped the Dutch gain a foothold in the New World, establishing the colony of New Amsterdam. His last voyage in 1610 to the Hudson Bay aboard the Discovery ended tragically, as his mutinous crew, weary of bad weather and starvation, forced Hudson and supporters into a small rowboat while they sailed back to England. Nothing more was heard of Hudson; some of the mutineers meet untimely deaths while the survivors faced charges of murder when they ultimately reached England. Hudson╒s final voyage eventually led to the foundation of Canada. The text gives readers an understanding of the risks that Hudson and his crew endured, as well as a glimpse into how the personalities of Hudson and his crew contributed to the events as they occurred. The illustrations provide interest to this introductory biography of a fearless explorer. Readers who want to read the primary sources pertaining to Hudson can follow the links noted in the back matter. An index is included. Zajko,Rosanne

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