High School Geography Options
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The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder ($amzn) Excellent as a literary advent calendar. A journey in time as well as distance, more historical and philosophical than religious.
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton ($amzn) Great book for a glimpse into South Africa. Contains especially deep ideas that would be valuable for young people to confront. Fits particularly well in term 3 of Year 10.
Dervla Murphy's books (search amazon.com); Full Tilt ($amzn) is scheduled in Year 12. She sees the world on a bicycle. Fascinating reading, well written, and quite current. Also somewhat anti-Christian in flavor. Pre--reading recommended.
Tracks by Robyn Davidson ($amzn) A young woman crosses Australia by camel. Well written, interesting, definitely needs pre-reading (she sometimes travels nude).
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell ($amzn) Most of Durrell's books are travel stories with conservation-minded animal collection as the purpose. They also work well as nature reading.
Travel books such as Lonely Planet and Insight Guides. These will need a bit more parental involvement as certain readings will be a waste of time, and others less than edifying (descriptions of red light districts, for example).
Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe by Christina Hardyment ($amzn) Well written travel guide tracing the roots of children's books from Hans Brinker's Holland, to Hans Christian Anderson's Denmark and Germany. Pre-reading recommended (includes a passage about castration).
Naturalist by E.O. Wilson ($amzn) His autobiography; well written. Theme: how his childhood interests and adventures developed into his (spectacular) adult career. Also, his Journey to the Ants ($amzn) is a popular book on the travel and research behind his Pulitzer prize winning book Ants. Please preview.
Dove by Robin Lee Graham ($amzn) Preview, read aloud, or save for a more mature student.
Peace Child by Don Richardson ($amzn) Mr. Richardson was a missionary who brought the gospel to a cannibalistic tribe. An amazing story of a stone age tribe's first contacts with the outside world in the early 1960's.
Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler ($amzn) (this is used in AO Year 9's 36-week schedule)
Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton ($amzn); parents please preview (this is used in AO Year 9's 36-week schedule)
Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins ($amzn) In the 1970's, Jenkins set out discouraged with life and determined to find meaning in his existence by walking due west. The places he sees and people he meets along the way help him find answers. Sequels are Looking for Alaska, Walk Across China and The Walk West, which was co-written by his wife, Barbara Jenkins.
Bill Bryson travel books (as readalouds) ($earch)
The Advisory hasn't looked at these, but they come highly recommended and are worth pursuing:
The Geography Behind History by Gordon East ($amzn)
The Last Secrets of the Silk Road by Alexandra Tolstoy ($amzn)
Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia by Tom Bissell ($amzn)
Waugh Abroad: The Collected Travel Writing by Evelyn Waugh ($amzn)
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List, by Patricia Schultz ($amzn)
Almost Heaven: Travels Through the Backwoods of America by Martin Fletcher ($amzn)
The Hills is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith ($amzn)
Other older travel books (for those watching the budget, these are online as free etexts):
Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain
In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson, Neil Rennie (Editor)
Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
Mariner of St. Malo: A Chronicle of the Voyages of Jacques Cartier (1500's) by Stephen Leacock