Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa

Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa


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Mary Kingsley spent her childhood in a small house on a lonely lane outside London, England. Her mother was bedridden, her father rarely home, and Mary served as housekeeper, handyman, nursemaid, and servant. Not until she was thirty years old did Mary get her chance to explore the world she’d read about in her father’s library. In 1893, she arrived in West Africa, where she encountered giant Xying insects, crocodiles, hippos, and brutal heat. Mary endured the hardships of the equatorial country—and thrived.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618369164
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 08/25/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 607,603
Product dimensions: 10.06(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.09(d)
Lexile: AD770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him “a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.” He lives in New York with his family.

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Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never heard of this woman until I got this biography from my Secret Santa at LibraryThing. She had a fascinating life after she was grown - exploring Africa alone in those days when travel was difficult.I like how the book is written. The author doesn't speculate on her thoughts or motivations (although actual quotations by Mary Kingsley are used when appropriate), and while her childhood was certainly "difficult" (she grew up isolated, educating herself and taking care of the house and her invalid mother while her father traveled), this is stated clearly without dwelling on it in a maudlin fashion. It's hard to walk that line between covering up unpleasant facts and making a big deal of them, but this book does that nicely.Simple, factual, and, above all - interesting. I intend to get more books by this author. He's just shot to the top of my wishlist.
Jmmott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is simply beautiful. The slight wistfulness in the voice of the narrator combined with the soft, but detailed illustration mad me want to travel to west Africa on my own to explore the world. This picture book biography tells the story of the trying childhood of Mary Kingsley, here desire to explore the world like her infrequently present father, and how she comes to terms with becoming her own woman after years of caring for family members.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really hated this book. I felt no connection to the character and I felt like their was no reason or purpose to the book. I don't understand where the author was going with this one. Brown, Don. Uncommon Traveler. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Uncommon Traveler¿ is written and illustrated by Don Brown, and it was published in 2000. Brown is both a professional author and illustrator. His books combine succinct language, dramatic storytelling, and beautiful, spare watercolor-and-ink art that portray his subject¿s remarkable lives. ¿Uncommon Traveler¿ is about a girl named Mary Kingsley who lived in London, England. During her childhood, it was like she lived alone. Her father George traveled the world and didn¿t come home often, her younger brother Charles was away at school, and her mother, also named Mary, was sick and stayed in bed. Young Mary never went to school. She spent her whole childhood at her house and garden, and when she did go out, she felt out of place at the few parties she had went too. You would think that Young Mary would be sad and unhappy, but she wasn¿t. Mary was happy and she states ¿I had a great, amusing world of my own the books in fathers library.¿ These books were both young Mary¿s companions and teachers. Mary was also a child who had to do many responsibilities around the house, ¿she nursed her mother, she tidied the house, she helped her father during his few visits, and she was the family¿s handyman.¿ These duties young Mary had to attend to carried on for years. At age 30, Mary¿s mother and father had passed away and she was now a free woman. ¿Inspired by her father¿s journeys and the travel books she loved, Mary had the remarkable notion of going to West Africa.¿ Those who visited West Africa risked diseases, animal attacks, and the hostility of some Africans. Mary didn¿t care that she was a single-woman who would be facing many dangers in Africa she still planned her trip to go. Will Mary survive her trip in West Africa? This books genre is Biography. This book is a useful book for teaching a lesson about different countries. The illustrations are nicely done and they suit the text appropriately. I think the book is somewhat plain and it didn¿t grasp my attention, but I still think it is a good and recommendable book. The age range for this book is 5 to 8, grades K-2. Brown, Don. Uncommon Traveler. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Would you like to go to Africa? Think about that before you answer! In this book, you'll find what Mary Kingsley went through while she was in Africa. And even though this may seem like a short, easy read, it didn't hold my interest very well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What would it be like to live most of your life inside your house? Well, in this biography book ¿Uncommon Traveler¿ by Don Brown, that is what eight year old Mary has done. In 1870, a small house stood on a lonely lane outside London, England, this is where Mary lived, it was as if she lived alone. Her father George, a traveler and her mother also named Mary, and was sickly lived there, she was always alone. The outside living world she saw little of, and felt out of place. But still, Mary was happy. ¿I had a great, amusing world of my own: the books in Father¿s library.¿ Books were her companions and teachers. In 1892 her mother and father die, and for the first time in Mary¿s life, she is free from her duties. She is thirty years old now and her world that was once cramped and dark, is as big as the globe. Inspired by her father¿s journeys and travel books, she goes to West Africa. She doesn¿t care that she is a single woman and there are many dangers that she might face, all she wants to do is ¿.. To find out what adventures Mary has read this wonderful biography book ¿Uncommon Traveler¿, by Don Brown. Don Brown is a professional illustrator. Don Brown¿s first children's book was Ruth Law Thrills a Nation. Don now lives in New York. Brown, Don. ¿Uncommon Traveler¿. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Grade Level: K-2nd
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this story was cute and interesting. It was kind of sad though because Mary's family was all gone and she was alone but fansinating how she traveled.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This fictionalized biography of Mary Kingsley trip to Africa is full of adventure. Don Brown¿s illustrations are dark and somewhat scary for younger readers, but I loved them. Mary is from England where she leads a busy life taking care of her parents. When they die, Mary goes on an adventure in Africa. Her adventures throughout Africa made me want to stay home, but I had fun reading about them. I give this book 4 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a young girl who lives with her mother who is sick and her father who is a traveler. She does not go to school and learns everything from her father¿s books in his library. At the age of thirty both of her parents die and she decides to take a trip to West Africa. One her journey she meets a lot of people, animals and learns to adapt to her surroundings. She meets a hippo in the road and scratches its ear with an umbrella and it walks away. She walks in the swamp that smells horrible and falls through a hut of someone while trying to climb a mountain. This book is a biography about a young girl¿s journey to another country and falling in love with the place she visits. The author of this book Don Brown uses his stories to retell historic events and to Highlight heroes. He excels in making history tangible and exciting for children around the world. To each child he introduces them to the struggles of real people, and explores the nature of perseverance and its importance to achievement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Biography: I like the book, Uncommon Traveler. At first, I felt sorry for the little girl, Mary, because she had to always be worrying about others or doing things for them instead of doing things for herself. I was happy for her when she was able to get out and go somewhere she wanted to and explore her interests. I think it is a good book for children because of the adventure it is able to keep their attention and has real things that someone might come across if they were exploring there. It could actually be considered a geological educational book. Don Brown is a professional illustrator. His first children's book, RUTH LAW THRILLS A NATION, was a Reading Rainbow feature selection and an NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. His second book, ALICE RAMSEY'S GRAND ADVENTURE, received starred reviews in THE BULLETIN, KIRKUS REVIEWS, and SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. School Library Journal has called him 'a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.' RARE TREASURE, was selected as a NCSS-CBC Notable Children¿s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. His most recent book was a look at the childhood of Albert Einstein, called ODD BOY OUT. He lives in New York. Uncommon Traveler, is a bout a girl and her life from childhood through adulthood. As a child she takes care of everyone else, but herself. Eventually, she becomes a woman and is left all alone. The woman, Mary, decides to go to Africa to explore. The things about Africa that would bother others, did not bother her. She encountered many new things and adventures throughout Africa. Eventually she returns home and tells all about her adventures. Mary filled her apartment with things that reminded her of Africa¿¿of home. ¿Mary¿s narrow life as handyman, nursemaid, servant, and aide went on for days, for weeks, for years. Childhood ended. Youth disappeared¿. This is the part of the book it talks about what all Mary had to do during her youth and how long. Eventually, she was no longer a child, but an adult caring for others. ¿Once she stumbled into a spike filled pit used to trap animals and narrowly escaped¿. This is the part of the book where Mary, faces one of the many challenges and overcomes it. Brown, Don. Uncommon Traveler. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Grade Level: K-2nd
Guest More than 1 year ago
Biography, This book is a biography of Mary Kingsley. This book starts when she is eight. She didn¿t go to school, but she learned plenty in her father¿s library. Mary¿s father traveled a lot and her mother was very sick. She did odd jobs around the house and took care of her mother when her father was gone. When her mother and father past away when she was thirty. She decided to go on a trip to West Africa and book tells of her adventures. The author Don Brown¿s first children's book was Ruth Law Thrills a Nation. Don now lives in New York. Bibliography Brown, Don. Uncommon Traveler. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.