Monday, August 31, 2015

Book review: Pedro's Journal

Rereading this 8/31/15 with a new crop of youngers: Still love this one. It is a first-person, journal-style account of our fictional ship's boy (Pedro) as he travels on the Santa Maria headed for India. As we know, that is not where he ends up. It is fictional obviously, but a great introduction to traveling to the New World for the youngest readers (2-3rd grade probably) and even younger if you are doing it as a read-aloud. It is short enough to be engaging but not exhausting, and the first-person through the eyes of a child helps reach the audience. I love using this one as a lead-in to the nonfiction parts of this era of history, as well as talking about diary or journal style writing. Other reviewers mentioned portraying Columbus in a negative light, and that is pretty true. My philosophy is presenting a wide array of fictional and nonfiction accounts from different perspectives and talking about them. Especially as you go back further and further in time, you are left with subjective assessments of what really happened, and especially of the personality of those portrayed (well, that is true even today).

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