Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Looking for Marco Polo” as Want to Read:
Looking for Marco Polo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Looking for Marco Polo

3.05 of 5 stars 3.05  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Eleven-year-old Mark's anthropologist father has disappeared into the Gobi desert while tracing Marco Polo's ancient route from Venice to China. When Mark and his mother travel to Venice to gather information about Mark's missing dad, Mark meets Doc Hornaday, an old family friend and masterful spinner of historical tales. As Doc describes Marco Polo's adventures—sailing th ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Yearling (first published 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Looking for Marco Polo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Looking for Marco Polo

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 103)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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.
Boring! Fell into the typical problem that lots of historical fiction novels for kids do: boring, dry rhetoric about historical figures.
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
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.
"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
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.
Catherine  Mustread
Aug 04, 2010 Catherine Mustread rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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*.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Intriguing introduction to Marco Polo's travels. Very thorough author's note and selected bibliography.
I really wanted to like this book. The cover drew me in. But the story was too slow for me.
I guess I am not a fan of historical books, was worth a try...
Mickslibrarian marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
Ana Lelis
Ana Lelis marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2015
Veronica Williams
Veronica Williams marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2015
Twotwo marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Ashley Adams
Ashley Adams marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Kinsey marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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
More about Alan Armstrong...
Whittington Raleigh's Page Racing the Moon Off in Zora Preemptive Strike: The Secret Plan That Would Have Prevented the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Share This Book