NONFICTION

When Darwin Sailed the Sea: Uncover How Darwin’s Revolutionary Ideas Helped Change the World

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Jul. 2020. 80p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780711249684.
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Gr 3-5–Long’s (When We Walked on the Moon: Discover the Dangers, Disasters, and Triumphs of Every Moon Mission) newest book describes the life of scientist Charles Darwin. Seven chapters detail Darwin’s adventures. Many of the stories and facts of the English naturalist’s life allow readers to understand the not-so-perfect path he took to fame. His love of nature was clear early in life, but his father was convinced that his son would succeed in the traditional academic setting. Young Darwin had other ideas. Some readers might relate to Darwin’s need to explore his interests outside of classroom walls. Interesting stories include how his epic voyage aboard the HMS Beagle almost didn’t happen because of the shape of Darwin’s nose. His five-year adventure on the Beagle was the beginning of a lifelong process of collecting specimens for the scientific world. Kalda beautifully captures the animals and plants Darwin collected. Long provides many small anecdotes that other biographies skip. He also examines the controversy surrounding Darwin’s work. An added bonus is a who’s who of Darwin’s life and a time line.
VERDICT This biography includes rich information for research projects or readers curious about one of the greats of the scientific world. A wonderful addition to any biography section for young people.

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