Friday, November 6, 2015

Blast form the Past--The Last River

Every once in a while I like to talk about a book I've read and reviewed before. That's what I call a Blast from the Past. Sometimes it's because I'm too busy to make a new recommendation; sometimes it's because I enjoyed a book so much that I just have to tell you about it again. And sometimes an event will trigger the memory of a terrific book that I had forgotten about. That's the case for The Last River: John Wesley Powell and the Colorado River Exploration Expedition by Stuart Waldman and illustrated by Gregory Manchess. I was fortunate enough to go to the Grand Canyon a couple of weeks ago and it made think of this book that I had reviewed waaayyy back in 2008 and hadn't thought of in years. What a terrific book! What a great adventure story! What a remarkable guy!

To be brief, John Wesley Powell was a geology professor. He had also fought in the Civil War and lost an arm. But he wouldn't let a handicap stop him and, driven by his desire to learn and see new things, he took off in 1869 to explore the Green and Colorado rivers.The only thing was that no one had ever done it before. No one. It was too dangerous. The climate was too harsh. There was no one to rescue you if you got into trouble. But, driven by his desire for adventure and knowledge (determination, adventure and learning--three things that make a guy a GUY), he set out with a band of explorers to chart this unknown territory. Did he make it? You'll have to read this unbelievable story to find out! But what a story you'll get--adventure, adventure and sheer dogged determination in the face of impossible conditions. And the illustrations--wow, they will knock your socks right off! They are beautiful, dramatic and fit this incredible story perfectly.

This book has been around a while but I'm glad to say that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system still has five copies. And it's short enough to be a good quick read but long enough to really get into.
Don't waste a moment, guys--get out right away and bring it home!

PS--Today is Nonfiction Monday. Check it out to learn about other great nonfiction books.


Greg Pattridge said...

I never heard of this one so thanks for the heads-up. I'll check my local library for a copy.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Sure sounds like a fantastic adventure! It's pretty cool when something today reminds us of something from yesterday, or in your case a story.

Rosi said...

Wow. This sounds great. I haven't heard of it but will definitely check it out. Thanks for the post.

Ms. Yingling said...

This would be good to pair with Hobbs' The Maze. Haven't made it out to the Grand Canyon yet!

Iron Guy Carl said...

I don't know The Maze but will look it up. Get out to the Grand Canyon some time! Do it! One completely amazing place.