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Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  39 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The conquest of the North Pole was an elusive, almost impossible goal at the beginning of the last century. But a son of patrician parents, Robert E. Peary, and a son of sharecroppers, Matthew Henson, shared a dream of conquering the unconquered North Pole and were brave enough to risk their lives numerous times before they finally succeeded. Henson's great physical stamin ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by National Geographic Children's Books
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Nickie
Oct 17, 2008 Nickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
By the side of Admiral Robert Peary was the African American, Mathew Henson. But few know that a black man was also first to arrive at the North Pole.

This book is a fast read and gives interesting insight into the 16+ year relationship of these two man. Sadly Henson received no credit or rewards like Peary.

There is so much history out in the world. I wish I could adsorb the knowledge like a sponge.
Cathy Ireland
Jul 15, 2013 Cathy Ireland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-678
Pairing and overview: I paired Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson by Dolores Johnson with the YA novel The White Darkness. Both books have the common subject of polar exploration. This piece of nonfiction chronicles the story of African-American Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary on his expedition to the North Pole in 1909. The book dispels the misconception that Henson worked as a “manservant” to Peary and reveals to the reader that Henson was a ...more
Alicia
The simple and powerful story of Matthew Henson, the African American self-made explorer who traveled to the North Pole as his life's mission and a natural outdoorsman. The photographs tell the story as much as the words of what Henson went through in order to make it, especially in the midst of African American oppression, failed personal relationships, a love for the Inuits, and a resounding need to complete the mission that took him mutliple tries.

The story is as much about the other man, Ro
...more
Mary Ann
May 15, 2012 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How would you like to be part of the first successful expedition to the North Pole – indeed, be the first (with assistance from Inuit guides) to set foot on the North Pole – but then get none of the credit? This is exactly what happened to Polar Explorer Matthew Henson, and the reason was because he was African American. Fortunately, Dolores Johnson’s appealing biography sets forth in great detail Henson’s greatest accomplishment. Henson and adventurer Robert Peary teamed up six times before rea ...more
Baldwin_tina
(64 pgs) A quick read. This National Geographic book does not meet the high standard of other NG books I have read. Many of the photographs are out of focus. The writing is very dry. I found the mention of Peary and Henson leaving their eskimo wives and children behind to be troubling. Although the book is probably written for young people it should really have mentioned that before contact with the outside world the Inuit shared their possessions and women with visitors. This was standard and a ...more
Abby Johnson
After several failed attempts with his partner Robert Peary, African-American explorer Matthew Henson was one of the first men to set foot on the North Pole. Although Henson's warm relationship with the Inuit people (he learned their language and taught other men on the expeditions about their culture) and his skill with dog sledging were integral to their success, Henson was not recognized for his achievements until some time later. Henson was posthumously awarded the National Geographic Societ ...more
Amy
Jan 16, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, did this guy get rooked! They story is both inspiring and depressing - he was an incredible person and explorer, and he got so many bad breaks because he was African American. I think Peary took him and the Inuit with him on purpose so he could claim all the glory without anyone along who would demand that it would be a shared victory. Too bad he couldn't have gotten the recognition he deserved while still living.
Kathy
Jul 04, 2010 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
Grades 7-9. Not at all what I expected. Did not leave me with a good impression of Matthew Henson and an even less of a good impression of his partner Naval Officer Robert Perry. Despicable treatment of the Inuit people. The book is published by National Geographic, who originally sponsored the two explorers. Therefore, there is not a great deal of depth to the inappropriate actions of Henson and Perry. Sad.
Amy Carr
Aug 16, 2008 Amy Carr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book about a lesser known explorer who has made amazing contributions in exploration and science. Matthew Henson was the first man to actually make it to the North Pole but because of the color of his skin, the credit was given to another explorer. This is a really interesting account of his life and contributions. Intended for children who are a little bit older (4th grade and up).
Debrarian
A good read. Makes the point that Henson has been missed by history.
Jennifer
Jennifer rated it it was ok
Feb 09, 2016
Toni Lin
Toni Lin rated it it was amazing
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Louise Stanley
Louise Stanley rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2013
Ben
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Sara Taylor-hughes
Good for older kids. Exploration of north pole
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Dolores Johnson is a journalist who has worked on newspapers in Oregon, California, Wyoming and Colorado, but she always wanted to write and sell a murder mystery. She tried writing books about an investigative reporter and a newspaper editor, but it wasn't until she wrote a book about a dry cleaner, using her background as a free-lance writer and field reporter for American Drycleaner, that she m ...more
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