Columbus Day is coming up and it seems to me that this is a bigger “holiday” on the East Coast than in the West and Southwest, but that may just be my impression. A new book raises the question, “Who Discovered America?” Of course, we know that there were people living in the Americas long before 1492 but Columbus is generally held up as the explorer who “found” the new world. As you prepare for Columbus Day events at your library or are working with teachers who will be teaching Columbus Day lessons, consider this new book by Valerie Wyatt. Who Discovered America? starts with Columbus and works backwards historically discussing the history and archeological evidence of other explorers who predated 1492. The mix of photographs, cartoons, illustrations, and maps make this 40 page book lively reading for young people who may feel “left out” of the traditionally Italian celebration. Pair it with Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas by Russell Freedman, which is twice as long and a little more scholarly.
Who Discovered America? by Valerie Wyatt. Kids Can Press,2008. ISBN-13:9781554531288. (Ages 8-12) $17.99 40pp.
Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas by Russell Freedman. Houghton Mifflin, 2007. ISBN-13:9780618663910 (Ages 9-12) $19.00 96pp.