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Children's Nonfiction How Things Work-are Made

Hidden Worlds

Amazing Tunnel Stories

by (author) Debora Pearson

illustrated by Tina Holdcroft

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2002
How Things Work-Are Made, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 11
  • Grade: 1 to 6


Did you know that...

A hundred years ago Chicago had a miniature underground train system that criss-crossed beneath the streets, delivering coal and other materials? The trains could go right into a building's basement. Even today, few people know these tunnels exist....

Or that Paris has over six million skeletons buried in ancient chambers and tunnels beneath the city? The ancient Romans first dug up this spot while mining for rock, but 200 years ago the overcrowded city of Paris needed new space to bury its dead.

Hidden Worlds presents 11 intriguing stories of extraordinary tunnels past and present from around the world. This fascinating book will introduce you to nature's tunneling mammals; the ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur in the labyrinth; the aqueducts of the ancient Romans; the hidden treasure in the pyramids of Egypt; the great escape of WWII prisoners of war...and much more!

Richly portrayed with large cartoon-style illustrations and informative yet wickedly funny captions, the stories in this original collection make for a riveting read. You'll be amazed at the interesting facts you'll unearth.

An introduction provides an overview of the hidden world of tunnels, the varied reasons why people have constructed them since ancient times, and how they have done so.

A special chapter at the end of the book provides more detailed information on each story. Additional resources, such as websites, are included.

An index will help locate specific places and events in the book, making this a useful reference tool for young students.


About the authors

Deborah Pearson, a former children's librarian for the Toronto Public Library, is an award-winning author and editor. She lives in Toronto.

Debora Pearson's profile page

Tina Holdcroft is the illustrator of dozens of picture books including Old MacDonald Had Her Farm and What the Snakes Wrote. When she isn't out sailing the world, she lives in Toronto.

Tina Holdcroft's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A good read-aloud choice with sufficient wow factor material to intrigue young listeners (even adults) and to initiate discussion or research. Many of the tunnels will be unknown to kids. Only a couple of them are still active: the mail system still used in Prague after 100 years, and the salt mine in Poland. However, kids could be motivated to compare tunnels they have heard of or might actually visit, e.g.. undersea car tunnels, the subway, railroad spiral tunnels, etc.... Recommended.

Canadian Materials

Anyone who has marveled at humans' ability to bore through mountains or build a network of subways and roads under cities and rivers, or even service areas under theme parks, will enjoy digging into some of the more amazing tunnels in history.... What makes the "amazing stories" even more enjoyable are the illustrator's clever, cartoon-like illustrations that show the tunnels and the activity in them and above ground.... Even if youngsters don't grab a shovel, they should be tempted to further study "the hole story," and have a new appreciation of the use of tunnels through the ages.


Other titles by Debora Pearson

Other titles by Tina Holdcroft