The harrowing survival story of English explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and the ill-fated Endurance
has intrigued people since the 1914 expedition--spurring astounding books such as Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
and The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
. As Shackleton and 27 sailors attempted to cross the frozen Antarctic continent from one side to the other, they were trapped in an ice pack, lost their ship to the icy depths, survived an Antarctic winter, escaped attacks from sea lions, and traversed 600 treacherous miles to the uninhabited Elephant Island. Leaving 22 men behind, Shackleton and five others sailed 800 miles across the southern Atlantic Ocean in a 20-foot open boat to tiny South George Island, where they hiked across unmapped mountains to a whaling station. In 1916, 19 months after the Endurance
became icebound, Shackleton led a rescue party back to retrieve his men. Remarkably, every crew member survived.
Jennifer Armstrong, the award-winning author of Black-Eyed Susan and The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, brings the unbelievable journey to life with delicious details: how a handsome young stowaway was discovered too late to cast him off; how the ship itself would become frost-white, looking like "another species of sparkling white iceberg as it nosed its way through the pack;" and how the ice-pack-dwelling Emperor penguins seemed to enjoy the banjo music of crew member Leonard Hussey. The true-to-life story is as thrilling as they come, and Armstrong's lively, crystal-clear writing style is just as compelling. More than 40 photographs of the expedition populate this inspiring nonfiction adventure story that young readers will devour from cover to cover. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up-Filled with intriguing details and written with dramatic style, this riveting account of the ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition reads like an adventure novel. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton attempted to be the first explorer to cross Antarctica by foot "from sea to sea." On the eve of World War I, he set out with a crew of scientists and sailors on a specially designed ship, Endurance, but he and his team never reached their objective. The ship became entrapped in ice, and the men were forced to abandon their mission and try to survive in the brutally harsh Antarctic wasteland for 19 months. Thanks to Shackleton's leadership, the bravery of his crew, and a lot of luck, everyone survived. The astonishing circumstances of their ordeal include a treacherous hike across miles of frozen wasteland, an 800-mile open-boat journey through savage seas, and a perilous trek across the uncharted mountain ranges of South Georgia Island. Armstrong brings all of these experiences vividly to life, frequently using quotes from members of the expedition. Excellent black-and-white photographs taken during the journey document the entire adventure story. Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's Ice Story (Clarion, 1999) has larger and more plentiful photographs but Armstrong's text is far more engaging. Kimmel relates all of the facts skillfully, but Armstrong crafts them into an unforgettable story of true heroism and the triumph of the human spirit. A book that will capture the attention and imagination of any reader.Edward Sullivan, New York Public Library
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.