In 1870, an eight-year-old girl named Mary Kingsley lived in a small house on a lonely lane outside London, England. Her mother was bedridden and her father was rarely home. Mary did not go to school. She served as housekeeper, handyman, nursemaid, and servant, for years. In 1893 Mary traveled to West Africa and proceeded to embark on an astonishing journey of discovery. In her high-necked blouse, long skirt, and Victorian boots, she endured the brutal heat and hardships of Africa, and thrived. With luminous watercolors and a lively text, Don Brown tells the fascinating story of a most uncommon woman.