Saturday, December 23, 2017

Race to the end of the world - Mapmaker Chronicles Book 1 by A.L. Tait

I am not sure why it took me so long to pick up this book (the first in a series of four) but I am so glad I have finally read Race to the End of the World and yes I read it all in one sitting.   I am now quite desperate to pick up the second installment as by the end of book one our intrepid team are still facing great danger, they are possibly not even half way through their voyage and that all important map is not yet complete.

Why are they making a map. The King decides he needs one :
"He has decided Verdania will create the first map of the world.' Map of the world? Why did he want one of those? Besides, everyone knew that if you went too far in either direction, you'd fall of the end of the earth."

Ten boys are selected to enter a school and from there three will be chosen to travel on three ships in the race across the oceans to complete the first map of the world.  Quinn is the youngest son in a family of six boys.  His mother has taught him to read and he has the gift of a photographic memory.  He does not want to go on the voyage because he enjoys life on the farm even though his brothers often tease and taunt him but Zain (a slave of the king who wants the prize of freedom) selects Quinn to go on his ship the Libertas.  Quinn and the crew will face many dangers and so will his friend Ash who has stowed away on the voyage.  "I don't think it's fair that boys get to do all the fun stuff ... they didn't even consider trying out girls for the mapmakers' school."

Read about the whole series here.  Read this review by Jazzy at Children's Books DailyThe Book Chook has detailed comments about each of the four books. Here is a set of teachers notes by the author. I would follow this book with Bartlett and the Ice Voyage by Odo Hirsch and The Eye of Neptune by Jon Mayhew.

Take a minute to watch this trailer from the US Publisher.  I am no longer working in my school library but if I was there I would not hesitate to recommend this book to my keen readers.

Mystery, monsters, murder and mayhem all feature in this action-packed adventure that will appeal to boys and girls alike.  Kids Book Review

Alison Tait shares her inspiration for this series :
Then the next night: “How did they map the world?”
“Well, they had to go out there and find out,” I answered, distractedly.
“They must have been brave,” he answered.
“They were,” I said. “They would have felt exactly as we feel looking out into space, not knowing how far it goes or what’s out there.”
And just like that, in my mind I saw a race to map the world, and a boy who really didn’t want to go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review for a riveting series. Allison Tait gives your blog a mention on FB.