The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth (Hardcover)

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Adventurous plant hunters risked their lives in uncharted places as they collected new, unusual plant specimens for science and profitable agriculture. (9-12)

— From History


Driven by an all-consuming passion, the plant hunters traveled around the world, facing challenges at every turn: tropical illnesses, extreme terrain, and dangerous animals. They battled piranhas, tigers, and vampire bats. Even the plants themselves could be lethal But these intrepid eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers were determined to find and collect new and unusual specimens, no matter what the cost. Then they tried to transport the plants--and themselves--home alive. Creating an important legacy in science, medicine, and agriculture, the plant hunters still inspire the scientific and environmental work of contemporary plant enthusiasts.

Working from primary sources--journals, letters, and notes from the field--Anita Silvey introduces us to these daring adventurers and scientists. She takes readers into the heart of their expeditions to then-uncharted places such as the Amazon basin, China, and India. As she brings a colorful cast of characters to life, she shows what motivated these Indiana Jones-type heroes. In The Plant Hunters, science, history, and adventure have been interwoven to tell a largely forgotten--yet fascinating--story.

About the Author

Anita Silvey is among today's foremost authorities on children's books. She is the creator of both the online and the print editions of the Children's Book-a-Day Almanac, and teaches courses in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the Children's Literature Program at Simmons College. A frequent contributor to NPR, Ms. Silvey lectures around the country on children's and young adult books. Her books include Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot, I'll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

Praise For…

“…a lovely presentation of amazing adventures.”--School Library Journal


“…successfully infuse[s] the image of plant collection with a measure of excitement many readers will not expect.”--BCCB


"Combining bits of botanical history and exploration with accounts of adventurers, this unusual book introduces European and North American plant hunters..."--Booklist


“…smoothly written, smartly paced and filled with exciting tales of risk taking and derring-do.”--Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374309084
ISBN-10: 0374309086
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Publication Date: April 10th, 2012
Pages: 96
Language: English