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Looking for Marco Polo Looking for Marco Polo

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
"Newbery Honor-winning author Alan Armstrong's latest book
"Eleven-year-old Mark's anthropologist father has disappeared in the Gobi desert while tracing Marco Polo's ancient route from Venice to China. His mother decides they must go to Venice to petition the agency that sent Mark’s father to send out a search party. Anxious about his father and upset about spending Chris
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 2009)
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Jun 06, 2017 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting reading, brought history to life.
Judi Paradis
I wanted to like this book, but it just went on and on. Mark's father is a scholar hoping to follow the path that Marco Polo traveled on the Silk Road. If Mark had tagged along, this might have been a good book. Instead, Mark's dad is lost and he travels to Venice with his Mom during Christmas week to see if they can pick up his dad's trail. In the meantime, a doctor (with a talking dog!--this was completely forced) show up to treat Mark's asthma. The doctor turns out to know Mark's dad and spen ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. I like the concept well enough, but the execution is a bit dry. It was interesting to learn all of the history surrounding Marco Polo and Venice of that time period, but there wasn’t much of a plot to move the story along. I need a little more than a story about a boy, Mark, who doesn’t want to be in Venice during Christmas and misses his dad, reluctantly roaming the city to find out more history on Marco Polo. It was certainly a nice history lesson, but as ...more
Boring! Fell into the typical problem that lots of historical fiction novels for kids do: boring, dry rhetoric about historical figures.
Jul 18, 2010 Ofilia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For me this read like a history lesson masquerading as a children's book. Lots of historical detail that bogged the pacing down. Also the fantasy elements did not work for me--seemed really forced.
Conan Tigard
Nov 12, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking for Marco Polo is a misture of two stories into one book. The first story is about Mark and his mother and their stay in Venice while the agency that send Mark's father out into the Gobi Desert looks for him. The second story is one told be Doctor Hornaday about that twenty-four year journey from Venice to China and back that Marco Polo took in the years 1271 to 1295.

I quite enjoyed the story about Mark and his mother in Venice, Italy. It must be tough for an eleven year old boy to not k
Jason Golomb
My 7-year-old son really enjoyed this book. He loves stories of adventure and action and this had enough to ignite his imagination and growing passion for history. The action, however, doesn't occur with the characters who physically appear in the book.

Mark and his mother travel from the United States to Venice, Italy to search for clues of their father who's gone missing somewhere along the Silk Road. Mark's father's work took him to some of the same locations that Marco Polo traveled and so w
Jan 24, 2016 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark's father is going to the Gobi desert to follow the route of Marco Polo. when he disappears, his mom & Mark go to Venice to try to get the authorities to search for him. Mark makes friends with a doctor and his dog who tell stories about Marco Polo. (Similar to a Newbery honor the author wrote earlier - Whittington this books is historical fiction) I found this to be much better than Whittington, maybe because I was interested more in Marco Polo (or his dog) or in Venice too. It made me ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Namratha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, memoirs
"If you put your neck down like one of his common subjects, the Oriental Prince will step on it! Better you hold your head up. At worst he cuts it off; at best he takes you for what you are: fearless. Every day risk all. Hold nothing back and you may survive.

Go now. Stand tall and think well of yourself. It will show. Act proud and even the Emperor of the East will think the better of you. What he wants most to know is how the princes of Europe maintain their dignity. You will show him."

~ M
Dec 29, 2009 Paige rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readalouds
I read this to my 6-year-old but it wasn't our favorite book. I must admit that I chose it because of the cover with the big dog on the front, thinking that there would be more about the dog in the story for my son who loves dogs, but there wasn't. The dog ends up being a talking dog but that only happens in one chapter and isn't developed very well. The bulk of the book is a retelling of the travels and adventures of Marco Polo which are interesting but not captivating.
Addison Children
I went into this thinking it must be a time travel book, but it is not. Mark and his mother travel to Venice looking for information on Mark's father who has disappeared on an anthropology expedition to the Gobi desert. Mark spends his time visiting Marco Polo sites and listening to tales of Polo's travels. I learn quite a bit about Polo, although I wouldn't recommend this for reports, it could spark interest in nonfiction on Polo.
Tracy Holland
I wanted to like this book, it had so much information about Marco Polo and his travels, something I know little about. The history part I really liked, the story of Mark and his quest to find his father was the part that dragged on was not well enough developed.

The length of time it took me to finally finish this book should be a testament to the struggles I had like it.
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 01, 2010 Catherine Mustread rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Peoria Library new book
Time travel would have been more exciting, but Mark does learn a lot about Marco Polo, via a storytelling Doctor, on his visit to Venice in this semi-historical novel about Marco Polo's travels. An extensive author's note plus a bibliography would be a boon to kids doing research or who are curious enough to read them. 4* for effort and historical imagination, 2* for actual kid appeal = 3*.
A light answer to historical fiction. The story of Marco Polo is told through various (both human and non-human) narrators to a modern boy who's father is missing on a treck to follow in the great explorer's footsteps. The adventure is thus once-removed, and a bit safer for the more sensitive reader.
Eleven-year old American, Mark, spends time in Venice waiting for word of his missing father. He visits the sights, especially Marco Polo places. He is told about Marco's adventures by a good story teller. Well researched but kind of old-fashioned and talky. Bizarre little episode of dog and rats talking to him. Very interesting to someone who has been or is going to Venice.
The Library Lady
There's a didactic streak here--get excited about learning about Marco Polo through a frame story! But it is nicely told, Mark is a sympathetic character and a few fantasy twists make this a fun read.
Dec 02, 2010 Jessie rated it it was ok
I guess I am not a fan of historical books, was worth a try...
Jul 01, 2013 Warriorslover rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
its about a boy that has a father that studies marco polo. so then the father goes out on an adventure to find marco polo then his father goes missing and the boy is on a a quest to find his father
Jan 10, 2012 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, italy, history, dogs
Intriguing introduction to Marco Polo's travels. Very thorough author's note and selected bibliography.
Dec 14, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
really boring.
Not bad, but not amazing either. I found the historical information interesting because I love history, but I didn't really feel like there was much to keep me interested in the plot.
Jun 14, 2010 Irasema rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a difficult time getting into this book. I thought it was dragged a bit and I finished reading it only because I had to.
Mubashira rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2011
Zach Goltry
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Feb 26, 2010
Ana rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2011
Lollypopyoung rated it liked it
May 28, 2015
Marie80 rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2011
Kathy rated it it was ok
Jan 02, 2016
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Alan Armstrong started volunteering in a friend's bookshop when he was eight. At 14, he was selling books at Brentano's. As an adult, every so often, he takes to the road in a VW bus named Zora to peddle used books. He is the editor of Forget Not Mee & My Garden, a collection of the letters of Peter Collinson, the 18th-century mercer and amateur botanist. He lives with his wife, Martha, a pain ...more
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