Alan Armstrong Looking for Marco Polo

ISBN 13: 9780375833229

Looking for Marco Polo

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9780375833229: Looking for Marco Polo
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Eleven-year-old Mark's anthropologist father has disappeared into the Gobi desert while tracing Marco Polo's ancient route from Venice to China. When Mark and his mother travel to Venice to gather information about Mark's missing dad, Mark meets Doc Hornaday, an old family friend and masterful spinner of historical tales. As Doc describes Marco Polo's adventures—sailing through pirate waters to where the desert begins, following the sunrise and the way of the Greek wind, crossing the broad plains and sand wastes where troves of bandits away—Mark finds himself falling under the spell of the story that has transfixed the world for centuries. Newbery Honor winner Alan Armstrong's third novel, backed by extensive research, brings to life Marco's remarkable journey from Venice to China, where he spent seventeen years in the court of the mighty Kublai Khan.

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About the Author:

ALAN ARMSTRONG went to China to see what Marco Polo might have seen, flying in one day the distance it took Marco three years to go by galley, camel, yak, horse, and foot, nearly at the cost of his life. Inspired by Polo's hunger for exploration and his gift for describing what he met, Armstrong wrote Looking for Marco Polo, his third book for children. His first book, Whittington, was awarded a Newbery Honor in 2006. He lives with his wife, Martha, a painter, in Massachusetts.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5–7—This story within a story brings to life the adventures of the famed 13th-century Venetian explorer. It begins in the modern day with the disappearance of 11-year-old Mark's father, who is tracing Polo's route through the Gobi desert. Mark and his mother travel to Venice to help with the search. While there, Mark has a terrible asthma attack and meets his dad's army friend Dr. Hornaday, who decides to entertain his patient with imaginative stories about Marco Polo. His tales are full of color and excitement; the details, although they are not based on known historical events, are grounded in the author's research on Polo's times and the places he claimed to have seen. The narrative becomes a little confusing: Hornaday's dog can talk to Mark and describes what Polo's homecoming to Venice was like, as passed down through his dog ancestors. The descriptions of the world in the 13th century are fascinating, and the imagined relationship between Kublai Khan and Polo is intriguing, but due to its complicated structure, this isn't a book for reluctant readers. Illustrations are interspersed throughout. The novel is an excellent supplement for those studying the explorer and his world. Extensive chapter notes are included, but there is no map.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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