Fantastic Female Adventurers is not for just for young girls or for women. This book is for everyone to show that everyone has their own challenges and can find ways to work around them to achieve their goals and what is possible for them. It doesn’t matter what your gender, what your background, or what your current ability is – everyone can improve and everybody should be working towards something.
Shrine Bell kindly sent us a copy of Fantastic Female Adventurers: truly Amazing tales of women exploring the world, by Lily DYU and illustrated by Kelly Carroll, to read and review. This book is 138 pages long and each of the 14 stories is a reasonable length and can easily be read in one sitting. Most of the stories have a UK and/or Canadian connection, which is just fabulous for us, seeing as I am Canadian and we’re raising our children here in the UK. I like the connection between the two so that we can all feel more attached to the adventures.
- Lily Dyu: My story of adventure
- Ann Daniels: Adventures with the Ice Queen
- Mira Rai: Mira the Mighty Mountain Runner
- Jin Jeong: The Dancing Lights of Lapland
- Gwen Moffat: Living the High Life
- Beth French: The Water Baby Who Grew Up to Be a Mermaid
- Misba Khan: From North-West England to the North Pole
- Karen Darke: In Camels’ Footsteps on the Great Silk Road
- Sarah Outen: Kayaking on the Ring of Fire
- Anna McNuff: Run, Anna, Run
- Ellen MacArthur: An Ocean Obsession
- Emma Timmis: The ElliptiGo Explorer
- Tori James: From Wales to the Top of the World
- Helen Sharman: The World Outside My Window
Appeals to all
This book is great for all ages. These adventurers began their dreams from young ages in some cases, and in other cases, later in life. They come from all backgrounds and walks of life, with and without means, but they all found a way to achieve their goals and overcome the barriers that had been put before them. From Kilimanjaro to Ben Nevis in Scotland there is no challenge too small or too big for these ladies, and this carries over to the audience.
Tristan said he wasn’t so interested in this book…but when Kallista and I would read it together, he would stop what he was doing and listen in. It isn’t just for girls of course, it’s also very important for boys and men to know that girls can be, and are adventurous, and it’s definitely okay, and normal, and totally possible.
There is an interesting map inside the cover that shows the routes taken by each of the female adventurers. The rowing, the hiking, the climbing. that each of the adventurers have undertaken around the world, and you can see that it does indeed transverse every continent and beyond in the case of Helen Sharman, who was up in space as the first British astronaut.
There is a story for everyone in this book, depending on their interests: space, swimming, climbing, sailing, cycling, single parents, homeschoolers, those from well-off backgrounds, as well as those who struggle to get by.
Each of these women met their personal challenges as they took on their adventures. They each created their adventures for their own, very different reasons. They knew when to keep going, but also very importantly, they knew when to stop. Beth French was one of these women; she home educated her autistic son and had set herself a challenge to swim 7 ocean channels to prove to her son that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it. Beth was a single parent doing all of this, and was succeeding. However, during her 6th channel swim, and almost to the end of it, she knew that she could accomplish the challenge and she decided that that was enough for her and Dylan, her son. He needed her more than she needed to complete the challenge and she stopped. Right there, about 3/4 of the way through the second last swim, and she stopped. She got out of the water and was satisfied with her feat. The challenge she set out to do had changed. In life, we all need to know what is best in our situation, and she accepted that with grace.
“Travelling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
-Ibn Battuta, quoted on page 59
One thing that Kallista had noted throughout the book was that some of the lives of these women intertwined. They knew each other and had gone on the same tracks or adventures previously, or they had ended up there in different ways. Following from that starting point, they may have gone in different directions but their lives still occasionally intertwined. Having those interconnections in here was also very interesting and there’s a feeling of community amongst these women. It does seem like an exclusive community, however, having met several adventurers myself over the years, it is certainly not exclusive and not impossible to find your own ways of gaining membership.
I found this book more inspiring than I had anticipated.
If you have a child and you would like them to be inspired then get them this book and read it together, as we have. Talk about the different aspects contained within the pages and see in which ways you can help your children with their goals. Even if you think that may not be possible now, you never know what will be possible in the future. Life changes and circumstances change but that doesn’t mean that you should not follow your dreams.
Never say you cannot do something because you are female. I may not have been as daring with my own life challenges through adventure and travel as these women, but my European tours, living in Japan, and moving to Northern Ireland were adventures for me. My children are already planning their futures and travel is definitely a part of it, and I’m curious to see where their adventures lead them.
When different forces meeting come together, so much can be achieved and everybody needs to see those opportunities and not let them pass. But most of all, enjoy what you are doing, enjoy life, and don’t take your circumstances for granted.
If you’re interested in purchasing Fantastic Female Adventurers, it’s available through:
- Great bookstores near you
A proportion of the author’s royalties will be gifted to a number of charities chosen by the adventurers, including Girl Guiding, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, The Spinal Injuries Association and Surfers Against Sewage.