The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela
Author: Uri Shulevitz
Imagine a time when streets were narrow and dirty, towns were surrounded by walls, brigands lurked alongside roads that were treacherous and few, bridges over rivers were rare, and a man setting out on a journey never knew if he would return alive. It was the year 1159 when the medieval Jewish traveler Benjamin left his native town of Tudela in northern Spain on an adventure to see the places he had read about in the Bible. He traveled for fourteen years – from Rome to Constantinople to Jerusalem to Baghdad, among others – by ship, by cart, and on foot, enduring great hardships in his quest for knowledge of other places and people.
Working from Benjamin’s original chronicle, written in Hebrew, as well as other sources on the period, Uri Shulevitz captures the true spirit of this amazing adventurer, using a text written in the first person and superlative illustrations.
The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela is a 2006 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.