The Incredible Yet True Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt

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Kids grow up learning about the Lewis and Clark Expedition—the famous two-year trek that charted the western half of the United States from May 1804 to September 1806. Yet around this time—in fact, just before it, starting in 1799 and ending in 1804—another groundbreaking and impressive journey in South America had been completed by a man from halfway across the world, soon to become the preeminent man of science of his day: the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Now, experienced travel writer Volker Mehnert tells Humboldt's story in this captivating and richly illustrated narrative biography for kids. Starting at the beginning with his upbringing and education, Mehnert follows Humboldt on his travels to South America (accompanied by French botanist Aimé Bonpland), where he encounters unknown cultures and rainforests full of undiscovered plants and animal species, as well as his visit to the US (where he meets Thomas Jefferson), his journey through Russia, and his rise to fame back in Europe.

From the island of Tenerife, where he climbs the Pico del Teide (one of many volcanoes he will scale) to his travels along the Orinoco and his trek across the Andes, Humboldt examines everything he sees along the way, fueled by an endless urge to discover the world and its natural phenomena. He discovers new waterways, draws maps, and makes notes for his later works, which would go on to inspire a generation of scientists after him—Charles Darwin among them.

Complete with striking illustrations that bring Humboldt’s adventures to life, The Incredible Yet True Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt is a captivating narrative biography that will whisk away readers young and old alike, and inspire them to see the world through the eyes of one of the greatest early scientists and explorers of all time.