Today, I found in the children's section of our library, a copy of Christopher Columbus's journal of his first trip to the Americas. Fortunately for my four-year-old and me, Robert H. Fuson translated Columbus's memoir into modern day English. This book was edited by Peter and Connie Roop. It is no surprise to learn that they are both accomplished teachers.
What does surprise me is that this work was never required reading for me. It will not need to be required reading for my son. We finished the whole thing this afternoon. Several times, he urged me to keep reading. When land was sighted, he literally jumped up and started clapping. He was especially captivated by the illustrations, done by Peter E. Hanson. At this point, he does understand that Columbus's venture was a key event in the history of what was to become our country, although he misses the philosophical shading of the memoir. When he is ready to consider the more nuanced cultural and historical implications of the migration of Europeans to the Americas, this would be a perfect starting point.
Typically, I add the books I find in the library to my wish lists, but I I, Columbus: My Journal went straight to my cart. It is definitely a book I want to read, and to encourage my children to read again.