Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kon-Tiki {rafting adventure across the Pacific}

My husband read this book review on Kon-Tiki then reserved a copy of it from the library.

It's a true story of how six men traveled 2,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in 1947 on a raft made of balsa wood to prove a theory that Polynesians migrated from Peru.

I was hooked after reading this paragraph from the reviewer:

Kon-Tiki is not a monotonous log or diary of a voyage; it is an amazing adventure. It is not a typical living geography book, though it does describe in vivid detail the people and terrain of Peru, the ocean currents, the South Pacific islands and their respective inhabitants and culture. It encompasses a vast array of other subjects: history for one, with its interesting description of the world after World War II, the technology, industry, and interests of the young men who survived the brutal realities of that war; worthy literature, as Heyerdahl masterfully employs excellent language to tell his tale with admirable literary flair; anthropology, as he enthusiastically justifies his pet project to prove a theory about the relationship of the Peruvian Indians to the Polynesians is contagious enough to awaken interest in that field; even government as he negotiates and pulls strings to get the project underway.

Because I am a mother of two boys, I'm thinking of buying a copy of this book for them to read again and again.  You can buy a mass-market paperback for $5.  I'm not an expert at gauging reading levels, but I would put this one on a high-school level.  For my fourth-grader, I will pick passages for him to read - specifically surrounding the crew's observations of marine life.  Already I have read several passages to him aloud.  It's not that the story line or words would be too hard for him to read, I think he would be lost on some of the details (that I find engaging!)

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can watch a one-hour documentary [from 1950] free. In 2013, Hollywood made another version.  I've not seen either because I want to finish the book first.

What books are you reading?

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