From School Library Journal
Gr 5-9–All of Walker's impressive writing talents are on display in this book on the frozen continent. The author's clear and lively narrative begins with a brief history of the first explorers, including some grisly deaths, and then describes in detail the work of current researchers. Walker paints a vivid picture of the hardships and special considerations required of those who work in Antarctica. Children will almost shiver as they read the description of the scuba diver's preparations to enter an icy lake. Additionally, the author does a great job of explaining some really complex scientific activities, such as mapping the ground using ice-penetrating radar, so that readers without great knowledge of advanced science can grasp how this work is done. She also shows how Antarctic research can help them understand global climate change and other types of earth-science research. Nearly every page has sharp color photos of the continent and researchers in action or explanatory diagrams. With its superb design and Walker's gripping prose, this book will draw readers in and keep them involved.–Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In a wide-angle survey of our least-explored continent, the author of Written in Bone (2009) and other perceptive accounts of researchers in the field examines the methods and discoveries of scientists studying Antarctica’s geophysics, prehistory, biota, and long- and short-range climatic variations. Heavily illustrated with maps and photos, well-supplied with lists of further resources, and detailed enough to include an entire chapter on the types, composition, and behavior of Antarctic ice, the book also distills interviews with several active scientists (including a middle-school student who designed and constructed a mobile undersea camera used to explore McMurdo Sound) into cogent explanations of why a greater knowledge of Antarctica is important to an understanding of our entire planet’s history and interconnected ecosystems. Though she makes only quick references to early Antarctic explorers and to the continent’s distinctive wildlife, Walker profiles major and ongoing research projects that enhance the recent biographies of Shackleton and his ilk and the plethora of books about penguins. Grades 6-9. --John Peters