Jennifer New is the author of Dan Eldon: The Art of Life. She has worked extensively with Dan Eldon's family and friends to research his life story. Jennifer lives in Iowa City, Iowa.
Will intrigue high school students, who will be fascinated by this adventurous spirit and the tragedy of a life cut short - School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The short life of a talented young artist and traveler is chronicled amid reproductions of his art, photos, and journals. In 1993, at age 22, Eldon was in Somalia with a group of journalists photographing rebel violence when he was clubbed to death. The author portrays him as a charming, though imperfect, young man who falsified documents and sold trinkets from Morocco on the beach to fund his wanderlust. Committed to social causes, he and a group of peers raised money for Malawi refugees, only to have their contribution scoffed at as insignificant. He had a stint as a gofer on a film set in Kenya, fell in love, and had other adventures, but fate drew him to turbulent Somalia. Information about African politics and social realities are interspersed with Eldon's biography. The thick, glossy pages are filled with so many photographs and ephemera, such as postcards and clippings, that readers may browse without reading the handwritten letters and journal excerpts, which provide the real layers to Eldon's character. Somewhat reminiscent of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild (Villard, 1996), the book will intrigue high school students, who will be fascinated by this adventurous spirit and the tragedy of a life cut short.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.