Death on the River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Amazon Adventure

Death on the River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Amazon Adventure
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Release Date
January 03, 2017
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"I did have a murderous trip down South, but it was mighty interesting."

In October 1913, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on a tour of South America. The thrill-seeking adventurer had no idea that he would soon receive an offer he couldn’t refuse: the chance to lead an expedition deep into the Amazon jungle to chart an unmapped river with his son Kermit and renowned Brazilian explorer Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon.

Death on the River of Doubt takes readers inside the thrilling journey that unfolds as Roosevelt, Rondon, Kermit, and their companions navigate an unpredictable river through an unforgiving jungle. With new threats at every turn, from bloodthirsty piranhas and raging rapids to starvation, disease, and a traitor in their own ranks, it seems that not everyone will make it out alive.

Through it all, the indomitable Teddy Roosevelt remained determined to complete their mission and rewrite the map of the world. Or die trying.

Editor review

1 review
More adventure for Teddy Roosevelt
(Updated: June 16, 2017)
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We all have this vague idea that Teddy Roosevelt was an adventurer, but I had no idea the depth of his passion! Seiple wisely starts with an overview of his early life and career, which just prepares us for this description of the Roosevelt and Rondon expedition to map an unknown river in Brazil. Roosevelt was 55 at the time, and not in the best of health. He brought along his son Kermit, who also was fond of adventuring.

Personally, I'm not sure that I would have been as motivated to map an obscure river in an area with piranhas, understandably hostile indigenous people, and large bugs. This is also why I will never live south of the state of Ohio! But this group felt that it was important enough that they kept going despite wounds, catastrophes, and danger of starvation.
Good Points
Seiple has done it again-- come out with a narrative nonfiction book filled with odd facts I never knew as well as adventure. I adored Ghosts in the Fog, and it's been wildly popular with my WWII fanatics, and her Byrd and Igloo was one that an 8th grader loved so much that he said "I don't normally like nonfiction, but that was really good! Can I have another like that?" (He ended up with No Better Friend.)

A lot of students will have a picture in their minds of Roosevelt ala Night in the Museum. This is a great adventure tale that will make them understand and appreciate not only how dedicated Roosevelt was to conquering new experiences but to what lengths people went, not too long ago, to discovering unknown parts of the world. There are no longer that many opportunities to do this!
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