I am extremely impressed with the book, Australian Backyard Explorer by Peter Macinnis.
When you view this author's discussion on how he came to write the book, and his fascination over the early explorers, it is easy to see why he was able to write so engagingly. His passion and enthusiasm for his subject really shines, both in this interview, and in the pages. A living science book indeed.
I'll be using Australian Backyard Explorer in AO6. We've recently studied the explorers in Aussie history, so their stories are fresh in our minds. Macinnis' book assumes some knowledge of history and the exploration of our country to best understand his discussion of the bias of history and the integrated science, so this should work well.
Australian Backyard Explorer at first glance looks like a DK book, full of choppy unconnected paragraphs that are impossible to narrate. It's not though. The book contains lots of boxed text and 'Did You Know' type informational asides, and it is interspersed with projects and extra information, but in between, the book tells an integrated, highly literary and eloquent story. Primary proof sources are scattered liberally throughout, describing explorers' adventures in their own words...and idiosyncratic spelling (Jemimah will be right at home. Sigh.).
Macinnis is a science writer with a great love of history. His book is a combination of both.
Anyhow, enough of my rave. Here's the author himself.