We Are Explorers


Although Isabella Bird suffered from a childhood spinal illness, her adventures in the Scottish Highlands suggested a chance of something beyond her stifling Yorkshire home. Thereafter, she used her health as an excuse to travel to North America, journeying thousands of kilometres on horseback through Canada and the United States. This was the 1830’s, where such activity and freedom were unexpected and undesirable for any women. The fact that Isabella’s adventures would continue so that she studied medicine and photography in her later years before exploring ‘India and East Asia’ in her sixties, is more startling.

Isabella Bird is one of fourteen female adventurers profiled in Kari Herbert’s exceptional We Are Explorers.

Not only does Kari Herbert research, introduce and illustrate each subject, but she offers a setting, so that we know the place and inspiration from which each explorer was formed. Therefore Nellie Bly’s determination that ‘women can do anything‘ was borne from an article she read in the Pittsburgh Dispatch stating that ‘women should get married, stay at home and stop talking nonsense about having a career‘. Her angry letter to the editor, kick-started her career as an investigative journalist. She travelled the world, revealing the tough conditions of female factory workers, and the appalling conditions of psychiatric hospital. However in 1888, she proposed that she ‘could circle the world in record time’.

The storytelling is exciting and the subjects truly inspiring. What’s more these are stories from around the world, including my home country, with aviatrix Jean Batten, through eras where women had so many walls to break down in order to explore and discover. Bookwagon recommends We Are Explorers for home reading and for schools too. It is a truly illuminating, thorough and absorbing title.

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


We Are Explorers

Kari Herbert

(Thames & Hudson)

Until recently, women did not have their own incomes. Nor could they vote, therefore, the stories offered in We Are Explorers are exceptional. Kari Herbert shares tales of ‘fourteen awesome explorers who travelled to the farthest reaches of the world’. It seems that despite obstacles of income, education, expectation and equality of opportunity, women have sought to journey. Many of them embarked on journeys that were lost in time, forgotten, ignored or scrubbed out of history.
Kari Herbert ensures that we realise the strength and courage of each of these women. Before a scene-setting introduction, she offers an explorer’s manifesto. It includes the need to be curious, well planned, brave, alert, show initiative and that you share your story when you return.
Thereafter, she offers stories of explorers from Maria Sibylla Merian, who discovered metamorphoses in insects. As with the stories that follow, the include those of Alexandrine Tinné, Freya Stark, Josephine Peary, Kari Herbert’s information is more than a synopsis and pictures. A setting with illustrations introduces each explorer’s story Then follow official portraits and photographs, extracts from diaries, alongside a description of the explorer’s discoveries.
Bookwagon is proud of its growing exploration titles including Space Explorers and The Atlas of Great Journeys. However, this title is an original and startling work. We recognise the depth of Kari Herbert’s research alongside its purpose and message. Bookwagon recommends We Are Explorers highly.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “We Are Explorers”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…