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Pedro's Journal

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,411 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492-February 14, 1493
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Scholastic (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

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 10, 2007 Emco rated it liked it  ·  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
I think this book was sad because it talks about bad experiences. It is a historical book but it is also fiction because it is based on a real event. I did not really enjoy this book because Columbus was so mean to the people.

In the beginning of the book, Columbus and his men were trying to find a new route to India. They decided to take Pedro with them because they thought he was young but very smart. Pedro knew how to read and write, so they thought he might be helpful on
Eduardo Ventura
Oct 30, 2015 Eduardo Ventura rated it liked it
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
Sep 12, 2016 Chessa rated it really liked it
The kids say 5 stars, and I say 4. This was a nice companion read to our historical journey of exploration from Europe to the Americas. Told from the perspective of Pedro, the Ship's Boy, it gives kids a good idea of what a sea voyage of that kind might have been like for a kid. I appreciated that it did not shy away from the darker side of the exploration, i.e., Pedro is super uncomfortable how Columbus and his men treat the natives in their travels.
May 12, 2014 Diego rated it liked it
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
Lydia Smith
Aug 26, 2016 Lydia Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: with-kids
First book of our new school year - studying American History. We loved this book. I learned tons about Christopher Columbus that I had not learned in school. Love that it's written as a ship boy's journal. Good way to learn what the voyage was like when Columbus first discovered America, and how he proceeded to treat the Native Americans.
Nov 14, 2008 Kerri rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
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.
Oct 13, 2015 Ashleigh rated it really liked it
My kids loved this one. Great intro to Columbus's voyages.
Heather Hocking
Nov 14, 2016 Heather Hocking rated it really liked it
Shelves: sonlight-titles
We used this book in our homeschool to supplement our study of Columbus. It was really good and my kids enjoyed it. After so many people commented on how mean Columbus was I was expecting him to be a real tyrant and bully in this story, but he honestly wasn't that bad. And if you know the real story of Columbus (not often told in school) you know that Columbus was really not a very nice person at all, so I think the portrayal here was probably very accurate. I'm sure he was probably much meaner ...more
Mrs. Miriam
Dec 17, 2016 Mrs. Miriam rated it liked it
Historical Fiction. Journal format.
Linda Fort
Oct 04, 2016 Linda Fort rated it it was amazing
very interesting
Sep 19, 2016 Taylor rated it it was ok
I think it was a great book about Christopher Columbus's journey to find America. It was kind of boring but exciting in ways. Hope you can read it too!
Esther Moss
Pedro's Journal
Reading level: 5.5 (grade level) 1030 (lexile) Q (guided reading)
Book interest level: This is a fascinating story but has very challenging vocabulary and a tricky-to-follow plot. I would assign it for individual reading for advanced 3rd graders and older, or read aloud to a whole 3rd grade (or older) class.

Summary: Pedro, a young boy from Spain, gets the chance of a lifetime when he is hired by Christopher Colombus to work as a record-keeper on one of his ships on the first Spani
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
Jeani Gillespie
Mar 27, 2014 Jeani Gillespie rated it liked it
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
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
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
Feb 27, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
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
Aug 31, 2015 Tanya rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2013 Zender rated it liked it
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
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
Mar 22, 2013 Elsa rated it liked it
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
Carrie Daws
Oct 03, 2014 Carrie Daws rated it really liked it
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.
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!!
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.
Oct 06, 2011 Jan rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2013 JJ rated it really liked it
This book is when Pedro goes on the journey to find India with Christopher Columbus. He love his mom until the Christopher Columbas said who ever that spots land first will win 100,000,000 dollars. If you want to know the end read this book. This is one of the best book I ever read. This book is 6 and above. READ THIS BOOK!
Jun 20, 2015 Jodi rated it liked it
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.
Connie Eberhart
Sep 28, 2013 Connie Eberhart rated it it was ok
Usually I am all for historical fiction, especially when it gives an alternative perspective. However, this one is tough to get through. It is very anti-Columbus and slow. There are some good historical facts and it does let you see a different point of view but I would use it as a read aloud to offer dimension and not as a take home read unless I student requested it. It's dry
Sep 03, 2014 Breanna rated it really liked it
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.
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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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