Uncommon Traveler (Hardcover)

Mary Kingsley in Africa

By Don Brown

HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780618002733, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2000

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/25/2003)

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 1870, an eight-year-old girl named Mary Kingsley lived in a small house on a lonely lane outside London, England. Her mother was bedridden and her father was rarely home. Mary did not go to school. She served as housekeeper, handyman, nursemaid, and servant, for years. In 1893 Mary traveled to West Africa and proceeded to embark on an astonishing journey of discovery. In her high-necked blouse, long skirt, and Victorian boots, she endured the brutal heat and hardships of Africa, and thrived. With luminous watercolors and a lively text, Don Brown tells the fascinating story of a most uncommon woman.

About the Author

Don Brown is the YALSA excellence in nonfiction and Sibert Honor award-winning author and illustrator of many nonfiction graphic novels for teens and picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies." He lives in New York with his family.


Instagram: @donsart

Praise For Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa

"A grand introduction to the woman and an inspiring story about perseverance, this is an uncommonly good book about an uncommon traveler." —Booklist, starred review (7/00) Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Brown brings each detail to life through vivid imagery." —The Bulletin, starred review (7–8/00) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred

"Readers will welcome Brown’s unflappable Mary Kingsley to the growing number of picture books about newly-recognized female explorers." —Horn Book, starred review (Sept/Oct 2000) Horn Book, Starred

"Brown manages to get a lot into a few graceful vignettes, and he does the same with his watercolors, using a blue-green and gold-brown palette to evoke London and jungle, desert and heat." —Kirkus Reviews (6/15/00) Kirkus Reviews

"Mary emerges as an intrepid and admirable character." —Publishers Weekly (8/21/00) Publishers Weekly