Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition: A True Adventure (Landmark Books)

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9780375813474: Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition: A True Adventure (Landmark Books)

Five hundred years before Columbus, a young Viking named Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic and became the first known European to set foot in North America. The tale of the crossing and the brief Viking settlement in North America has been passed down for a thousand years. Now, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel retells it to a new audience, painting a vivid picture of what Eriksson might have experienced on his great Viking expedition.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is the author of several novels and nonfiction books for early and middle-grade readers, including Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition, winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ Golden Kite Honor Book Plaque, and Balto and the Great Race (a Stepping Stone Book), which recently won the Kansas City Children’s Book Award for grades 1 through 3.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-5-This account of Eriksson's life and explorations relies heavily on the use of imaginary incidents, thoughts, feelings, and dialogue. The author's technique of re-creation gives the book a flavor more like that of a historical novel than a biography or history and is reminiscent of the style of biography writing prevalent in the 1940s and 1950s. An author's note describes the very few historical facts available about the lives of Leif the Lucky and his father, Erik the Red. Most of the existing information comes from the Greenlanders' Saga, an account written 200 years after Leif's journey to North America, and from the Vinland Sagas, which describe Erik's discovery of Greenland, the Viking settlement he founded there, and Icelandic trader Bjarni Herjolfsson's accidental sighting of North America, which inspired Leif to search for this unknown land. Details not found in the sagas, such as descriptions of Leif's childhood home and way of life in Iceland and in his Vinland camp, are based on the research of historians and archaeologists who have studied the sagas and have explored the Viking ruins at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, ruins that may be the remains of Leif's North American settlement. With its many photographs of Viking artifacts and its imaginative presentation of Eriksson's life and explorations, Kimmel's book will captivate and entertain young readers even though many librarians may question its classification as nonfiction rather than fiction.
Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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