Jump to content


Walk the World's Rim and other explorer books


Recommended Posts

​Any opinions on the following books?  Planning unit on explorers of New World.


​Walk the World's Rim

​The King's Fifth

​Pedro's Journal


​Daughter in 7th grade in the fall and is dyslexic.  I will likely be reading these books to her, so I want to read the best one(s).  What do you think?  Is one better than another?  Are they all good?  Is one slow going but ever so worth it?  Any different lit suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have read all 3 of them; they are all well-written. Pedro's Journal is a good one for grades 4-7.


You may want to pick just one of the first 2, as they cover the same time period/type of explorers (Spanish conquistadors in Mexico/US Southwest), and have similar themes -- explorers / conquistadors coming with visions of gold and domination ends badly for the Spanish. Both books show the Native peoples as very alien to the Spanish explorers/conquisadors, and both books show the despair/madness of the Spanish because they can't let go of their original mission (conquer and get rich). Walk the World's Rim is a bit shorter, but felt a bit more depressing because so few explorers survive and you feel like they never quite "get" the fact that they "fell" due to their greed and they were unwilling/unable to adapt and accept the Native people. There is a ray of hope for the protagonist at the end of the King's Fifth in that he regains his sanity when he lets go of the gold. Both of these works are probably best for grades 6/7 and up. 


You may want to substitute a book on a different time period/type of explorer to expand your New World explorer unit:

500 - Brendan -- believed to have traveled sailed from Britain to the New World

1000 - Vikings, esp. Leif the Lucky, reach the New World (N. America)

1497 - John Cabot, European discoverer of Newfoundland (N. America)

1499 - Amerigo Vespucci, European discoverer of the mouth of the Amazon River (S. America)

1513 - Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish discoverer of the Pacific Ocean while crossing Panama (Central America)

1600s - Samuel de Champlain, French explorer of much of Northeastern Canada/US (N. America)

1610 - Henry Hudson, English discoverer of Hudson River/Hudson Bay, while searching for a Northwest Passage (N. America)

1673 - Louis Joliet & Father Jaques Marquette, French explorers of the Great Lakes, discovered the Mississippi River (N. America)

1513 - Ponce de Leon, Spanish discoverer of Florida (N. America)

1540 - Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer of much of Southeastern US (N. America)

1700s - French explorers of Canada/northern US (N. America)


Books I can think of:

- Brendan the Navigator (Fritz) -- gr. 3-5, but a good one

- Leif the Lucky (d'Aulaires) -- gr. 2-5 -- pretty simplistic, but perfect for young elementary ages

- Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson (Goodman) -- gr. 4-7; non-fiction

- Around the World in 100 Years (Fritz) -- gr. 4-7; non-fiction; has chapters on New World explorers: Christopher Columbus; John Cabot; Amerigo Vespucci; Juan Ponce de Leon, Vasco Nunez de Balboa -- her anti-Church bias pops up from time to time and detracts a bit, but can be either skipped or discussed with your student (that every history writer comes from a particular bias)

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would recommend Morning Girl, which offers a perspective from the Taino people. I especially think pairing it with Pedro's Journal allows for some very interesting discussions. 

Thank you Lori D. for your thoughtful helps!


I have not heard of Morning Girl.  I'll check into it.  Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...