Mapping a Natural Marvel

If you like the Grand Canyon, or maps, or stories about how people overcome difficulties to do great things, you will enjoy this article about how Bradford Washburn created this masterpiece of modern mapmaking. 

My Origin of Species adaptation makes a “best of” list

I’m very proud to say that the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has included Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition on its list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 for 2019. Science teachers are heroes, and it is an honor to have them recognize by my adaptation of this world-changing book.

Their summary:

“The topics of genus and species,
instinct and inheritance, and
biodiversity and mutations
come to life in this young readers’
edition of The Origin of Species.”

Map lovers, rejoice!

The National Library of Scotland has more than 200,000 maps of England, Scotland, Wales, and places beyond the British Isles. Now many of them are online, free for map lovers to browse here. This historic map of Scotland was engraved by Dutch mapmaker Abraham Ortelius in 1573 and printed around 1580. 

Reviews for the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition

Reviews have started to come in for my young-readers adaptation of Charles Darwin’s most important book, On the Origin of Species. So far, so fantastic!

Publishers Weekly says, “With valuable modifications and enhancements, Stefoff preserves the richness of Darwin’s content for contemporary young readers.” Read the full review here.

Booklist says, “The strength of this attractive volume is that it gives them direct access to
Darwin’s words on the topic of natural selection, along with informative updates and explanations.” (This review has not yet been published online.)

Kirkus praises the adaptation for being “so handsomely presented and so close to the source” and says, “Stefoff’s frequent glosses and boxed side essays unpack major concepts, add historical context, explain how later scientific discoveries modify or support Darwin’s broad picture, and even studiously point out where the author went wrong.” The full review is here.

New book: The Wild West in Paris

Another new book of mine will be coming out soon. It’s a young people’s version of a terrific book by Jill Jonnes called Eiffel’s Tower. The book tells how engineer Gustave Eiffel built his famous tower in Paris in spite of fierce attacks. Some critics thought the tower was a hideous monstrosity. Others feared it would fall over and crush their neighborhoods, or draw huge lightning bolts from the sky.

In the end, Eiffel just managed to get the tower finished in time for a grand World’s Fair in 1889. People from all over the world came to Paris for the fair–and to marvel at the Eiffel Tower, or even make the daring, adventurous trip to its top. Among them were Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. Their Wild West show in Paris was almost as big a sensation as the tower itself.

Eiffel’s Tower is the story of Eiffel’s genius, his struggle to build the tower, and his later downfall. It’s also the story of how the Wild West captured the hearts of Parisians, and of the many colorful characters, including inventor Thomas Edison and the Shah of Persia, who met and mingled in Paris in the summer of 1889–a time when anything seemed possible. Whether you’re interested in building things or reading about the larger-than-life personalities of the day, I hope you’ll enjoy Eiffel’s Tower for Young People.

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