If you are ever in Sydney, Australia and ask a few Sydney-siders what to see first, they will tell you to visit the Opera House. It is one of the most elaborate entertainment venues in the world and has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment. It is home to Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
What looks like a solid stone statue but inside has a staircase of 354 steps leading from pedestal to crown? The Statue of Liberty! This enormous monument in New York Harbor is both a stunning work of art and an amazing feat of engineering. If you like building things and putting puzzles together, you'll love learning about the making of Lady Liberty, America's greatest symbol of freedom and friendship.
Brace to meet some of the biggest baseball stars of the Negro Leagues. They were men and women of glory and achievement, of spectacular ability and heartbreaking obstacles. They rose above discrimination to pursue their dreams. Cool Papa Bell was once said to be so fast, he could outrun electricity. Another story had Josh Gibson hit a towering fly ball in Pittsburgh that didn't land until the next day-in Philadelphia! Pitcher Satchel Paige won with a blistering fastball when he was young, and then with experience and creativity when he was old. He played with charm and witty sayings: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." Nobody messed with Oscar Charleston or fielded better than John "Pop" Lloyd.Women such as Peanut Johnson and Toni Stone also made big impressions. These are among the brightest stars of a league, gone but never forgotten.
It started with a promise, but was fueled by a passion for building. Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India in the seventeenth century, promised to build the most magnificent tomb for his dying wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Every measurement and material had deep meaning. All contributed to the perfection of the Taj Mahal. The 42-acre complex was a vision of harmony that reflected Mughal culture and the importance placed on respect for the dead. Almost 400 years later, the Taj Mahal of India remains one of the most beautiful tombs on Earth.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous structures in the world. It is instantly recognizable, a gigantic yet elegant reminder of Paris, France. The tower is such an iconic symbol that it is hard to believe that it was once considered an eyesore by many famous writers and artists. One can't imagine Paris without it, but it was once supposed to be torn down. This is the story of the Eiffel Tower and of the man that created it, explaining in detail how he used unique engineering and construction tools and techniques to build something many said was impossible.
Journey back in time to sixteenth-century Italy with 10-year-old Fresca as she introduces you to her master, Michelangelo, the Renaissance genius whose sculptures and paintings changed the way the world sees artists. But there is one surprise in store for the reader, Fresca is not what you think she is!
What is that hovering over the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, Washington? Is it part of a movie set? Is it a publicity stunt? Could it bean actual spaceship? When you first spy the soaring Space Needle, high above Seattle, it's easy to be confused. The people who designed it more than 50 years ago would be happy to know that their building still amazes and mystifies. They wanted to create something that looked as if it had come from the future, just in time for the 1964 World's Fair. The obstacles they faced, the problems they solved, and the decisions they made have turned the Space Needle into more than just an incredible site to visit - it makes for an incredible story.
Gabriel is already nervous-he has a new job at the train station. He has to keep the platforms free of dust and dirt. Just imagine how he feels when he finds out he has to sweep next to the famous artist Claude Monet! By watching and talking with the artist, Gabriel finds out more than just how to do his job. He discovers how to see his city and his world through the eyes of a master painter. His life will never be the same.
Like America in the first half of the twentieth century, baseball was still segregated. Every road to the major leagues was blocked by unwritten agreements never to allow black athletes entry. It seemed like the better they played, the further they were pushed back. Until, that is, a plan was hatched by two men. One seized an opportunity to advance the game of baseball forever, and the other ran a path through bigotry like he ran the bases, with strength and grace. Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson would work together to break down the color barriers of baseball, and show the world that African-American athletes were as good and as worthy as anyone to put on a major league uniform. They were not alone. From Larry Doby to Monte Irvin, and the irrepressible Satchel Paige, baseball was gifted by the emergence of a wealth of talent and personality that would truly make it, at last, America's pastime.
London, England's Big Ben is one of the biggest bells ever made. Its melodic sound has rung in the capital city of London for more than 150 years. Big Ben hangs in the 316-foot Palace of Westminster with the Great Clock. The clock's gears move the hands on the clock's four faces. It also makes the quarter bells and Big Ben chime. Together, it is one of England's most popular tourist sites. Yet, Big Ben was almost never built. Fire, carelessness, and attacks nearly kept it a dream in some people's minds. Discover how this beloved British landmark was nearly lost several times and how determination and hard work brought it to life.
Journey back in time to 1503 in Florence, Italy, where ten year-old Bartolomeo del Giocondo introduces his master, Leonardo da Vinci. This Renaissance genius was a painter, sculptor, inventor, and, according to his young apprentice, sometimes a bit of a noodle. Little does Bartolomeo know that his family is going to be part of one of the greatest works of art ever created.
Matteo could not believe it when he was asked to come and meet the famous artist Goya. Because the young boy had learned how to speak with his hands, he could help the great artist communicate with others. Follow Matteo as he talks to Goya, learns about the man's art, and even becomes the focus of an unexpected portrait. And prepare to meet one of the most talented, haunted, and creative painters in history.
Before and after the Civil War, the African American community held the same passion for baseball as the rest of the nation. But black players faced prejudice. They were banned from the major leagues. From this group emerged Andrew "Rube" Foster, one of the greatest pitchers and managers of the early twentieth century. The founder of the Negro National League, Foster was called the Father of Black Baseball. Thanks to his vision and efforts, black players were finally respected. The doors to Major League Baseball were opened to black players, and the world could enjoy such superstars as Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron.
Banned from professional baseball in the late 19th century, African-American players were forced to go on the road to make money playing the game they loved. Enduring poor fields and long journeys between games, teams brought their unique and entertaining brand of baseball to towns big and small. Even when they had trouble securing food and lodging because of the color of their skin, these players persevered, opening the door for the ultimate return of African-American athletes to big-league baseball.
Here is the tale of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh as told by his young assistant, Peter. Follow the pair from the peasant shacks of the Netherlands to the sunny fields of the South of France as the talented van Gogh paints some of the most famous works of art from the late 19th century.
The middle of the fourteenth century BCE was a strange time in ancient Egypt. The pharaoh had changed his name and religion and was inviting the wrath of the gods that had long watched over the land. The powerful priesthood felt threatened, the people feared the worst, and in the middle of everything was Pepi, a ten-year-old boy with a problem-he didn't want to go to school. Let Pepi explain his troubles to you as he takes you around his beloved city. Let him introduce you to his family, his friends, and their way of life, which thousands of years later might seem similar to your own.
From a shy and fearful child, Eleanor Roosevelt grew up to be not only First Lady of the United States, but one of the most influential women in U.S. history. Hers is a remarkable story of doing the thing you think you cannot do in order to work for change and to better the lives of others. Come learn about Eleanor, who challenges everyone - no matter his or her talents or gifts - to live a useful and fulfilling life.
Long before she decided to run for president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton was a young woman with goals and dreams. Follow along as she tries to decide between becoming a journalist or an astronaut. Find out how she first gets involved in politics - while still a teenager. Learn about her dedication to helping the women and children of the world, and how she entered the world of law with those goals in mind. Finally, see the changes that becoming Mrs. Bill Clinton brought - and how they helped her achieve some of her greatest goals. Meet Hillary Rodham Clinton, who became First Lady of the United States and then presidential hopeful for 2016.
Born of privilege and raised among the nation's political elite, Mary Todd was a highly intelligent and outspoken young woman with a love for hoop skirts and a disgust for slavery. Her passion for politics would set the stage for her to meet young Abraham Lincoln, who would one day become President of the United States, and she his driving force. On a fateful night in April, 1865, she would endure the unthinkable, and her life would be changed forever. Mary Todd Lincoln would join a nation in healing after the loss of its leader, and the effects of a brutal civil war. She would remain a First Lady to the end, and second to none.
In the year 1070 While William the Conqueror (the newly-crowned King of England) was out on a hunting excursion, he discovered the perfect spot for a new castle. It was a locale perched high on a cliff that provided a terrific vantage point in all directions. Construction began and after 16 years, the first phase of Windsor Castle is a delightful home for the royal family and is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. Want to travel through the ages along the Merry Halls of Windsor? Step inside, kids; this tour is about ready to embark!
Abigail Smith Adams championed education for boys and girls alike. The second daughter of a Massachusetts pastor, Abigail longed to go to school like the boys of the Colonial days. Recognizing his daughter's inquisitive mind, Abigail's father instructed her at home using books from his large personal library. Smart and with strong opinions, Abigail was the constant confidante of her husband, President John Adams. The mother of five, she lived in France and England, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. She was the first president's wife to live in the White House, and the first woman to be the wife of a U.S. president and the mother of another U.S. president. For the cause of liberty, Abigail and John were frequently apart. Through the more than 1,100 letters they exchanged, history has an insightful look at the extraordinary people who crafted the Great American Experiment - the United States of America.
Dolley Madison was considered the first First Lady of the United States. Even before her husband James Madison took office, Dolley was White House hostess for the widowed Thomas Jefferson. Known for her personality and style, she hosted dinners and gatherings in a White House that she decorated. She held the nation's first Inaugural Ball. She convinced her husband to start inviting members of Congress from both political parties to social events. During the War of 1812, when the British advanced to burn Washington, she stayed long enough to rescue a portrait of George Washington. When the British left, she helped convince the nation to rebuild its capital in Washington. Find out how this first First Lady defined the role for future women to follow.
The seventh of eleven children, Edith Bolling grew up to become one of the most controversial women in American history. Early on, she became a successful businesswoman and the first female to own an automobile in Washington, D.C. It was love at first sight when widowed President Woodrow Wilson met Edith. Her husband's constant companion and confidante, Edit supported the President during World War I and accompanied him abroad and across the nation to campaign for world peace. Edith did not refer to herself as First Lady but as Mrs. Wilson. Ever at her husband's side, she screened all matters of state when a stroke left him bedridden. Her critics called her secret president, and first woman to run the government. Did Edith serve as President in an age when women were not even allowed to vote? The world may never know for certain.
Deep in the Scottish Highlands resides the castle known as Balmoral. You may have heard of its owner, for she is none other than the Queen of England. Purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 1840s, Balmoral became a magical retreat for the royal family to spend their holidays alone together, much like other families do. So, let the bagpipers begin to play and the Highland dancers begin to swirl and twirl - the Scottish culture and beautiful countryside surrounding Balmoral await you.
Glamis Castle is one of the most intriguing places in all of Scotland. Visitors from all over the world make a trip to the famous residence each year. Some are drawn to the castle's long history of royal residents, including the late Queen Mother of Queen Elizabeth II. Others want to know what it's like to walk the halls of the fortress that has served as the setting for many scary tales. Still, others delight in strolling through the estate's colorful gardens. No matter what brings visitors to the wondrous estate, they are sure to remember their time at this historic and spooky site.