Tierra del Fuego
Journey to the End of the Earth
By Peter Lourie
Ferdinand Magellan was seeking a passage
to the Pacific and the riches of the east when he sailed
down the coast of South America in 1520. His expedition
for Spain seemd doomed to failure until he spied a waterway
at the tip of the continent. Taking his ships west on the
strait that now bears his name, he passed through a foreboding
land, where he saw smoke from unseen fires. He called this
land, Tierra del Fuego, THE LAND OF
takes young readers on a journey to the tip of South America,
where the Yámana and other Patagonian tribes for
thousands of years fished the waters and hunted in cold,
mysterious forests. It was here that Charles Darwin
sailed the legendary Beagle and Joshua Slocum, the first
man to circumnavigate the world alone, outwitted pirates
who lurked in the unchanted coves of Tierra del Fuego.
Intrepid adventurer Lourie, who's explored everything from
the Amazon to the Yukon, with the Hudson and Mississippi
thrown in for good measure, travels to the island of Tierra
del Fuego recounting adventures of Magellan, Charles Darwin,
and turn-of-the-century world traveler, Joshua Slocum. As
with other adventures, Lourie enlivens his narrative with
period maps and drawings, photographs and quotes from journals
and diaries from the past interspersed with contemporary
photographs and tidbits about the people and places. Most
interesting are the selections gleaned from the journal
of a sailor who traveled with Magellan in 1520 seeking a
passage that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
And the adventures of Joshua Slocum, who in 1898 sailed
around the world in a 40-foot boat and described in his
diary encounters with pirates and storms in the Strait of
Magellan. After visiting Punta Arenas, Chile, Lourie, who
is surprised to find himself in a modern city of 150,000,
flies to Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego
and refers to Darwin's visit there on the Beagle in 1832.
Finally he stops to visit with a modern-day sheep-farming
family before flying back home. Lourie is a masterful storyteller
well able to bring the past alive....Period photographs
and drawings are especially appealing.
Journal , September 2002
photo-essay highlights the southern-most island off the
coast of South America. Named "Land of Fire" by Magellan,
who noted the fires that native tribes kept burning,
this area is known today for its treacherous waters and
as a jumping-off spot for travelers to Antarctica.
A diverse land of sheep farms and modern cities as well
as penguins and fur seals, this region has attracted scientists
(Darwin) and adventurers, including Magellan and Joshua
Slocum, the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone.
Lourie's abundant artwork includes a mix of crisp, color
photographs, period illustrations, and maps. Short chapters
and frequent breaks in the text make for a pleasing format.
A good choice for geography or explorer units, this will
be popular with young adventurers as well.
October 15, 2002
Peter Lourie fulfills a childhood dream by journeying to
the wild island at the southernmost tip of South America.
Its treacherous waters are among the roughest on the planet,
and sailors have long feared the passage from the Atlantic
to the Pacific off its shores. When Magellan sailed
here in 1520, he spotted the fires of the native peoples
and called the island "The land of fire." What happened
to these people is a sad tale. The Yamana tribe succumbed
to the diseases brought by gold miners after 1886.
A few short years later the tribe was extinct. Lourie's
fascinating first-person narrative along with historical
information, excerpts from the diary of a sailor named Joshua
Slocum, period and current photos and maps make this an
excellent resource for young armchair travelers and students
learning about this part of Argentina and Chile. Beautiful
photographs on glossy paper, open and inviting format, index
and list for further reading make this an appealing book.
It is the only children's title on Tierra del Fuego in the
Palo Alto Library's collections. Grades 4 & up.
Palo Alto Public Library System,
CA, December 2002, Maya Spector