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Pedro's Journal

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  1,111 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Pedro de Salcedo could not have known what adventures lay ahead! His incredible voyage as ship's boy aboard Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria would bring both danger and excitement. Pedro captured his experience between the pages of a journal. If he did not return alive perhaps someone, someday would find it and learn of his incredible journey to the New World.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1991)
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Jessica I've never heard that expression before, but I would guess that a new born goat has really fine, soft hair on it's belly. So it probably means that…moreI've never heard that expression before, but I would guess that a new born goat has really fine, soft hair on it's belly. So it probably means that something is a soft or fine as that fur.(less)

Community Reviews

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Dec 10, 2007 Emco rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids/ history buffs
Historical fiction/Children's Literature
Based on a child who actually did travel on the Santa Maria with Columbus. Also clearly based on Columbus's shockingly stupid journal entries.I like reading this with my students while we are learning about Columbus and other European explorers. It describes what the journey might have been like. It gives a good overall view of Columbus's personality, specifically of his pride, his greed, and his ignorance of the culture(s) that he was invading. Sets the s
Eduardo Ventura
Personal Response

I liked this book, but it was not as good as I thought it would be. I enjoyed learning some real facts about Cristobal Columbus. I do not think it was very good because of the ending.


The story starts with Pedro being recruited to the crew of the Santa Maria with 40 other men. Pedro was recruited, because he could read and write. The Santa Maria, the Niña, and the Pinta sailed from Spain on an unknown route to India. Pedro and the other members of the crew have lots of probl
Pedro's Journal, by Pam Conrad, tells the tale of Pedro of Salcedo, a ship's boy aboard the Santa Maria who accompanies Christopher Columbus on the journey to find the new world.The Pedro's story is told in journal entries about the trip across the Atlantic and the exploration of the Indies and the World. Pedro sees Columbus as hot tempered. He describes the native people as peaceful and unfairly terrorized by the Spanish.

I like the book this book is a kind of mystery book because the book is ab
Jeani Gillespie
This book is a historical fiction account of Columbus's first journey told by his cabin boy. It really is pretty authentic and factual for HF. It relies on Columbus' Journal accounts and shows more than what one typically learns about him in America since we seem bent on making him a hero. I appreciated the factual accounts of his greed, selfishness, and inhumane treatment of the natives. Although the account does not show the true evil of how many Taino Columbus killed or the various horrid wa ...more
My kids loved this one. Great intro to Columbus's voyages.
We read this book for a read-aloud in our homeschool. It was interesting, and brings kids into the experience of Columbus' trip to the New World much better than a history textbook.
This book, found in a box at school, is an interesting take on telling the Columbus story, as it's a piece of historical fiction whose narrator is the ship boy on the Santa María, the ship Columbus sailed on during his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. It is fairly true to history, according to the author's note by Pam Conrad, but is able to take certain liberties in telling the story from the perspective of a child rather than some stodgy, grown up historian. I think most children would p ...more
Laura Verret
Pedro de Salcedo is a ship’s boy. And he’s not just any ship’s boy – he’s the ship’s boy aboard Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria! Excited to be experiencing grand new adventures, Pedro is engrossed with his new duties and his new Captain. What has given this man such great inspiration? And will that inspiration end up killing them all?


Pedro has a very positive relationship with his mother – although we join his story when he is already a sea at and he has not returned home by the time
Carrie Daws
This is a good summary of the trip to America by Christopher Columbus and his view in 1492-1493. It gives a more realistic picture of Columbus and his men, rather than the somewhat sanitized versions in many history books. And it reveals some intimate moments, like how close the crew was to mutiny, what this particular ship's boy thought of taking natives on board, and the fear of the storm during the return trip. Yet it's not so detailed that it would overwhelm an mid-elementary school child.
From my boys' homeschool reading list. I didn't love or hate this book. I feel like we learned some things, but would have preferred a little more depth. I also would have preferred a little less anti-European. I don't want my history white-washed, but I don't want it one-sided either. I will have to find something else about Columbus to supplement this I think.
I read this book aloud to my children as part of our study of Christopher Columbus. While it wasn't choke full of historical information from Columbus' journey across the Atlantic, it had enough facts scattered throughout that allowed for discussion of what Columbus' attitude was (particularly in regards to the "Indians" they found, traded with - the trades were always unfair, and captured to bring back to Spain). We plan to read "Where Do You Think You're Going, Christopher Columbus?" by Jean F ...more
Read this as a part of our homeschool curriculum and the kids really liked it and learned quite a bit from it. When we later read the history book's account of Columbus' first voyage, they were amazed at how spot on Pedro's journal had been. I was interested enough that I downloaded Columbus' actual journal. Easy read and interesting.
I didn't like this book. For one, it was rather dull. The excitement and adventure never seemed to jump off the page. My boys were mildly interested but it was not engaging to them.

This book also has a decidedly anti-Columbus feel to it. Basically, he has no redeeming qualities and is an idiot. I constantly struggle with this - most men have both good and bad in them. History is full of good and bad things. I like books which show a balance. This did not.

And thirdly, we didn't really learn anyth
Entertaining children's book that gives a more accurate account of Columbus's voyage to the new world than what children are accustomed to hearing in elementary school. If your child reads it, be prepared to discuss how Columbus responded to the natives he encountered.
A Nelson
1492 Voyage of Christopher Columbus

(read aloud with Grace & Ian)

A journal of a young boy traveling with Christopher Columbus on his maiden voyage. Compelling story and details.
Miss Amanda
gr 3-6 80 pgs

1492-1493, Columbus' voyage. Columbus' voyage through the eyes of Pedro, a young cabin boy aboard the Santa Maria. Written as a journal, the readers learns what daily life is like on the voyage.

Good story!
Rereading this 8/31/15 with a new crop of youngers: Still love this one. It is a first-person, journal-style account of our fictional ship's boy (Pedro) as he travels on the Santa Maria headed for India. As we know, that is not where he ends up. It is fictional obviously, but a great introduction to traveling to the New World for the youngest readers (2-3rd grade probably) and even younger if you are doing it as a read-aloud. It is short enough to be engaging but not exhausting, and the first-pe ...more
Good fast read for readers 9 to 12. I read this book with Dorathy and Christopher, and then we had a family "book club discussion" on it. It was a good read for kids because it's told from the perspective of a young boy. It makes for a good discussion, because it shows the inhumane treatment of the natives. A child really feels the injustice of it all. It portrays the situation without being to graphic for young readers. You really end this book with conflicting feelings towards Columbus himself ...more
I think that this book is really, a kind of mystery book because you will feel like what will happen next like, will they survive? or you will think questions like that. The book is about a kid who is really interestead in being on the piarate ship with columbus. Pedro is a guy who can read not like others because in the past time onley some people get to go to school. So Pedro is a lucky one. If he is not in with Columbus and the other crew then he would not be able to read maps and stuff. I th ...more
Read to my 10 and 12 year old boys as part of Sonlight Core D+E. They really loved this book and always asked for more!
Joanne Styger
Our first history reader for the year! A great introduction to Columbus and the discovery of the Americas.
This read aloud was used in conjunction with our early explorers unit. While a fast read and providing interesting historic details such how items were waterproofed, the overall tone of the book was off. The year is 1492, and yet, the author of the journal has a point of view that a number of students who have received a politically correct, multi-cultural education would have. It seemed inauthentic and preachy. I would have preferred a more balanced description of Columbus and allow my children ...more
Oct 13, 2015 Leah added it
Read aloud for kids. They thought it was okay.
Abd El-Rahman
I really enjoyed with this story
from Egypt :))
Mike Vasquez
I loved it and how do you read it?
May 19, 2015 Henry rated it 5 of 5 stars
This is cool
read this for history... Z and I enjoyed this book.
The voyage of Christopher Columbus, written as a journal by a ship's boy. Pedro was hired to ride with Columbus, not because he was a seaman, but because he could read and write. Details of the voyage are given from a boy's point of view, making them more interesting for 3rd-5th graders. The journal style gives a great feel for the adventures and discomforts of the voyage, and keeps a feeling of immediacy in this historical record.
Daria Huber
This book is written from the point of view of a cabin boy on Columbus' first trip to the New World. The book covers some of the events of the voyage; there are some interesting events and it gives what I assume is a realistic perspective of the long, boring journey across the Atlantic. There is a definite bend of sympathy toward the natives, and an distrust toward the Eurpoeans. The book was just ok for me.
I read this book aloud to my children.

The story is about a young boy named Pedro de Salcedo, who sails aboard the Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus from August 3, 1942 to February 14, 1493. I don’t know how historically accurate the book is, but we learned some things about Columbus that we didn’t know before.

We found the story interesting, and we enjoyed it!

MY RATING: 3 stars! We liked it!!
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Pam Conrad (1947-1996) was an author for children. Her book Our House: Stories of Levittown was a Newbery Medal finalist.

Ms. Conrad was born in New York City and graduated from the New School for Social Research.
More about Pam Conrad...

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