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The Mapmakers’ Race

Book Synopsis

A fresh and exciting mapmaking adventure. Sal, Joe, Francie and Humphrey misplace their famous mapmaker mother as they begin the Great Race to map a rail route through an uncharted wilderness. Their father didn’t return from his last expedition and now their money is gone. This race is their last chance.

They have twenty-eight days to find and map the best route. There’ll be bears, bees, bats, river crossings, cliff falls, impossible weather-but worst of all, they’re racing five teams of adults who do not play by the rules.

Our Review Panel says...

There is always something appealing about books with maps. There is also a great appeal to books with a race-against-time quest to complete. The Mapmakers’ Race by Eirlys Hunter hits the mark on both of these levels, as a thrilling adventure story with a pacy quest narrative, an unfaltering sense of jeopardy and illustrated maps for every chapter of the journey

The four siblings in the Santander family find themselves in a tricky situation. After their explorer father disappears, the family decides to enter the Great Race. This competition challenges explorers to map a new railway route through uncharted wilderness, with a sizeable monetary prize of 3500 golden guineas that will help the family to survive without their father. None of the other contenders take the children seriously, but the siblings pool their varied skills and resources and embark upon their quest along with their parrot (called Carrot) and their new friend Beckett. The four siblings are each very different and I particularly enjoyed the character of Francie, who does not speak but is immensely talented in charting maps.

Naturally, there are perils at every turn, from the dangerous landscape to the treacherous weather to the sabotage attempts by unscrupulous rival teams of adults. This is an exciting adventure narrative with a real against-the-clock feel to it and a steam-age fantasy setting that fans of Vashti Hardy’s Brightstorm are likely to enjoy.

See also our guest blog post by author Eirlys Hunter about how her childhood experiences inspired the story.

 

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The Mapmakers' Race: Teaching Notes

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book The Mapmaker’s Race.

The Mapmakers’ Race

the mapmakers race

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