Blood of the Incas, by David Harris

Intrepid adventurer Hiram Bingham has been missing in the Andes for over a month. ‘The Cuzco Herald’ investigates Hiram’s journey and disappearance.
Earlier this month he disappeared into the uncharted mountains of Peru. His quest – to find and follow ancient Inca Trails…What drives a man to risk his life among mile-high precipices, glaciers, raging rivers and deep valleys ruled by cannibal head-hunters?

Hiram Bingham, adventurer, is following his passion. He’s in the Andes looking for clues to the ancient Incas. His initial trip, during which outsiders speculate on his motivation and his whereabouts, is full of danger and excitement as Bingham and his guide Callisto traverse cliff tops, narrow mountain paths and waterfalls in search of ancient fortresses. But the dangers of this first trip are nothing to those of the return journey. Bingham follows in the footsteps of Spaniards and Indians as he searches for a lost city high in the mountains. But he must first overcome superstition, an inhospitable terrain, a man-eating panther.

Blood of the Incas is chock-a-block full of adventure, danger, ancient and not-so-ancient South America. Hiram Bingham was an American Archaeologist credited with the ‘discovery’ of the mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Harris has blended fact, legend and action-packed fiction as he takes Bingham and his rag-tag crew across some of the most rugged terrain in the world. There are numerous historical references to the Spanish Conquistadors, the Incas themselves. For the reader keen on adventure, Blood of the Incas can be read as pure fiction, but there are plenty of titbits for the budding adventurer or historian to explore further. Recommended for 9-12 year old readers.

Blood of the Incas: Time Raiders

Blood of the Incas, by David Harris
ABC Books 2008
ISBN: 9780733320972

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50 Cent Coin Collection, by David Harris

Coin collecting has long been a popular hobby, both with adults and children. And there is no Australian coin that attracts more attention than the 50 cent piece. The dodecagonal (twelve-sided) shape of this coin ensured its novelty value from first production and its use as a bearer of commemorative images esnures its ongoing popularity.

Scholastic’s 50 Cent Coin Collection enables young enthusiasts to work towards a collection of the entire range of 50 cent coins issued since the first twelve-sided piece was minted in 1969.

An informative booklet by David Harris traces the history of Australian currency from the arrival of European colonists in 1788 until decimal currency was introduced in 1966, and explains the production of the specially shaped 50 cent piece in 1969 to replace the previous round coin. It then goes on to describe each of the 24 different 50 cent pieces which have been released since then, explaining the events they commemorate. The accompanying folder has a place for each of these coins, to enable collectors to display their collection.

This would make a wonderful gift item for children aged 8 right up to 14 and would be a good introduction to coin collecting.

50 Cent Coin Collection, by David Harris
Scholastic Australia, 2004