This stunning picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary.
Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure, embarking at age thirteen on a five-year voyage sailing the seven seas. Henson’s greatest adventure began when Robert Peary invited him to join an expedition to the North Pole. After many storms, injuries, and unimaginable cold, on April 1, Peary, Henson, and four Inuit men began the final 133-mile push to the Pole.
Award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson pays tribute to a great but under-recognized figure from America’s past in this remarkable story. Illustrator Stephen Alcorn’s large-format, stylized ink-and-watercolor illustrations capture all the action. Excerpts from Henson’s expedition diaries, a time line, and an epilogue place the story in its historical context.