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Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13 Hardcover – September 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1050L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374319758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374319755
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—A recounting of the fatal Antarctic exploration led by Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. The story is told from the point of view of journeyman Apsley Cherry-Garrard and is based on his experiences as recorded in The Worst Journey in the World. The author incorporates numerous primary sources, including diaries, letters, and black-and-white reproductions and archival photographs that aid in capturing Garrard's mindset and that of the other members of the expedition. The goal of the trip was to find the South Pole, with an offshoot expedition to collect samples of the fabled Emperor penguin's eggs. Though dialogue was obviously re-created, and some assumptions are made regarding the thoughts and feelings of crew members, Farr's writing is engrossing and his accounts of the hardships and near-death experiences the explorers faced are harrowing. The accompanying maps, photographs, and drawings complement the text, though some of them break it up at odd intervals. This title will appeal to readers looking for an adventure story and to history buffs.—Kelly McGorray, Glenbard South High School Library, Glen Ellyn, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This review refers to the Hardcover edition

From Booklist

“After the storm, we enjoyed several days in which the weather was merely horrible.” Farr writes in the voice of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a participant in Robert Scott’s ill-fated second Antarctic expedition, which he casts as an inspiring tale of men battling overwhelmingly brutal elements with experimental gear, high spirits, and indomitable courage. The expedition was actually a scientific one, with the push to the South Pole as much a public relations gambit as a main purpose. Cherry, as he was known, self-effacingly describes his own role as part of a three-man side trip to collect penguin eggs—a trip that, like so many early ventures to the Antarctic, became a desperate struggle just to survive. Based on Cherry’s own memoirs and extensive research, this deceptively light-toned account makes compelling reading and is well supplied with contemporary photos, maps, an annotated source list, and other helpful extras. Despite its fictive voice, it makes an authoritative replacement for older titles on the expedition, meriting a place next to Bredeson’s After the Last Dog Died (2003), Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (1998), and other Antarctic annals. Grades 6-9. --John Peters
This review refers to the Hardcover edition

More About the Author

I grew up in England's West Country, one of the world's leading producers of strange names for small villages. I now live in Seattle. When I'm not reading, writing, or staring out of the window, I enjoy running, hiking and sea kayaking.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a great read! I bought it for myself, but after finishing it, started reading it to my 10 year old son. He can't get enough of it. It's so great when literature such as this is able to capture the mind and imaginiation of adults and kids alike. Quite a testament to the author. I strongly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Jackson on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my 13 year old son. He hasn't had a chance to read it yet. My husband finished it first, followed by me. It is a fascinating true adventure that reads like a novel. Don't start reading late at night if you want to get any sleep. This is a super book for anyone interested in history, exploration, adventure, or for anybody who enjoys a well written book on any subject. (That would be me.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Children's Librarian on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
So you think this winter has been cold and snowy? Try sleeping out in a tent in -77º F temperatures, which is what Apsley Cherry-Garrard did on his trip to Antartica in 1910. At only 23 years old, Cherry was chosen to join Captain Robert F. Scott's expedition to Antartica to carry out scientific experiments, and hopefully plant the British flag at the South Pole. He was given the title of assistant zoologist, and one of his missions was to collect the eggs of the emperor penguin for study. During the entire three year expedition, Cherry and the rest of Scott's men experienced a fierce storm that almost capsized their ship, painful frostbite, killer whale attacks, plunges into crevasses the size of cathedrals and, tragically, the deaths of five of the men. This is a true story, but since the author writes in the first person using Cherry's voice, it is actually a work of fiction. The author researched for the book by reading Cherry's first person account of the expedition titled The Worst Journey in the World, and also many of the personal diaries that the other men kept. So even though this book is fiction, it reads like a non-fiction book, complete with amazing photographs and footnotes. If you like exciting adventure and survival stories, this is the book for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thanks for writing this gem. It's a great introduction to historical adventure and the psyche of another time (and I fervently hope still exists today). Even though I knew the ending, I was still on the edge of my seat and fighting tears at certain points.
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