by Milton Lomask
This is an enjoyable and exciting fictional account of Magellan's voyage around the world from the point of view of a boy escaping his murderous uncle. Milton Lomask, the author, also wrote some of the Vision saint books. This book is part of our history work this year which is pulled mostly from Connecting with History.
I initially planned to read this aloud, and I still think it would be a marvelous family read aloud, but if we don't have time for it, it's one my ten-year-old could easily read independently. (In fact, my eight-year-old probably can, too, though I can't remember if that's normal for eight.)
The book shares plenty of information about what sailing was like at the time of Magellan and how a ship's boy would be treated (by a kind captain). Magellan's slave, Enrique, is treated as an honest, courageous, and kind friend for the young boy.
I had no idea Magellan was such a staunch evangelist, ensuring preaching to people they encountered on their voyage was a top priority. At first I thought the book exaggerated the details, but a little research seems to indicate it is true.
The author of the book claims the Philippines were predominantly Christian as a direct result of Magellan's lingering to allow a priest to instruct and baptize people on island after island.
Young as he was, Pedro recognized that these were the great moments of the great voyage. He could not, however, look into the future of foresee the long-lasting effects of what Father Valderrama was doing with Magellan's help.Despite pleas from priests (according to Lomask) later explorers were much more ruthless.
They were often cruel to the natives of the new countries to which they were sent by their kinds. Some explorers did little or nothing to assist the priests who traveled with them. Instead of trying to Christianize the natives, they enslaved them.It's probable there is much more to the story than just Magellan's effect on the Philippines; the islands have a long and nuanced history. We'll leave more details until the kids are older.
The fictional account mainly follows the story of Magellan. After he dies (gallantly defending his sailors in their ill-fated attack), the story rushes ahead to the return of the beleaguered ship to Spain. I would have liked to hear more about the rest of the voyage, but the book is plenty exciting.
This edition by Hillside Education is nicely bound. The illustrations in the book by William Plummer are superior to the cover art. Hillside is one of those publishers I regard highly for their excellent craftsmanship and their dedication to republishing worthy books.
I purchased this book (from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts - not an affiliate link). I have not received anything in exchange for this honest review. I did learn of the book from RC History in the Connecting with History syllabus and lesson plans. The links to RC History in this post are affiliate links. The book is also available at Amazon (another affiliate link).