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The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure Hardcover – September 11, 2012


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The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure + Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1270L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First American Edition edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780763650803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763650803
  • ASIN: 0763650803
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Endurance. Fortitude. Bravery. Any of these words could easily describe the people involved in this amazing, but little-known rescue-adventure. The year was 1897 and whaling was big business in America. Whaleship captains hunting in the Arctic Circle, pushing for more whales and the profits they meant, ended up stranded by the ice pack, affecting eight ships and their crews. One ship managed to escape the danger and alert the U.S. government to the predicament, thus setting in motion a nearly "impossible rescue." A few daring men with the experience and willingness to tackle such a mission quickly gathered their supplies and courage and headed north to bring food in the form of herded reindeer and help to some 300 sailors stuck in the Arctic winter. Using extensive primary sources in the form of journals, reports, letters, and photographs, Sandler has pieced together a stirring and evocative retelling of this historical adventure. The writing draws readers into both the suspense of reaching the struggling whalers in time as well as the dire, life-threatening conditions that the rescuers themselves faced. Archival black-and-white photographs taken during the journey help pull the whole story together and prove an excellent visual accompaniment to the unfolding drama. An epilogue answers many of the "what happened after..." questions, and extensive source notes round out the back matter. For readers who prefer their drama to be true, suggest this title along with Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (Crown, 1998), Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air (Villard, 1997), and Dolores Johnson's Onward: a Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson (National Geographic, 2005).-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Outstanding nonfiction writing that makes history come alive.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A terrific true tale, well told.
—Booklist (starred review)

Using extensive primary sources in the form of journals, reports, letters, and photographs, Sandler has pieced together a stirring and evocative retelling of this historical adventure. The writing draws readers into both the suspense of reaching the struggling whalers in time as well as the dire, life-threatening conditions that the rescuers themselves faced.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Crisply designed with plentiful white space, this book shares a thrilling and inspirational story of determination, perseverance, and bravery.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
Very interesting book with lots of information .
Breck75
The Impossible Rescue is an amazing true story of leadership, teamwork, survival and selflessness.
PDXbibliophile
This is a true story that I knew a little about.
Linda Middlebrooks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on October 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I defy you to read this book without being amazed and impressed. When 8 whaling ships and about 300 men became trapped in the ice off the coast of Alaska in 1897, they were well and truly stuck. They couldn't tweet for help, they couldn't phone for reinforcements, they couldn't be flown out; food couldn't be dropped to them....would they be left to freeze or starve? Thanks to the Overland Relief Expedition and the bravery of men, women and animals, most of the men were saved. Author Martin Sandler tells a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, giving full credit to the brave Americans and native people of Alaska, and not sidestepping the less-than-honorable way that a few of the men behaved. Dogs and reindeer also pay a dear price so that the men may safely return when the ice breaks up. Any young reader (and a surprising number of adults) will thrill to this story, accompanied by a great number of photographs taken by a member of the expedition. Sandler includes endnotes to tell what happened to some of the key players later in life, and includes source notes that make this an excellent teaching tool as well as a riveting story in its own right. Highly recommended for readers moved by Shackleton's icy adventures, those interested in the Iditarod, or anyone generally interested in survival stories.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: Sent to me by the publisher
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: This book covers many of my interests; the time period, true tales of survival and life in the Arctic. I had not hear of this true story and it appealed to me.

When first setting eyes upon this book, the thing that strikes one is the coffee-table book appeal. The book is an over-sized square and illustrated on almost every page with contemporary photographs taken by one of the rescue members, Dr. Call, from start to finish. This is an amazing photographic memorial to this amazing rescue attempt. Nothing like it had ever been attempted before but public outcry at the dire strands these hundreds of whalers were caught up in prompted then President McKinley to form a rescue mission with objectives but no true sense of how these objectives were to be met. That was left up to the handful of men eventually left in charge of the overland rescue mission.

An enthralling story to read about, the whalers were often there own worst problem as the cold, hunger and lethargy left them with low morale and little sense of self-preservation. Sandler has presented the tale by using the rescuers' own words as much as possible. Culled from their own journals which they kept upon this journey. Sandler himself does not have exactly the most favourable voice for telling a story and the segues he's written connecting the contemporary voices can be a bit dry; but fortunately the rescuers do most of the story telling. An extremely harrowing journey and rescue which, in reality, had very little chance at success, yet due to the character and determination of those involved succeeded despite the odds. The publisher recommends for Gr. 5+, personally due to the writing style I would recommend most for Gr. 7+. However, it makes a fine read for history or adventure buffs of all ages interested in the topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This truly is an amazing story and a fascinating read! The story is told precisely and interestingly; I didn't want to put the book down. The layout is attractive, with wide margins and black and white photos which enhance the atmosphere of the arctic landscape. An excellent book for students who "need to read a non-fiction book as a prelude to a research project" (an actual assignment for the eigth grade in our town). It's the type of grand adventure book you want to curl up with on the couch, but it's too large and heavy to do that with--that's the only regrettable thing about this book. The maps are fascinating; I'd never heard a story like this before.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book has some incredible pictures and tells a tale that is incredibly remarkable. You should read this book today
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read about great people and a unbelievable trip in unbelievable weather conditions. Be sure to let others know of this book
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By boomer on July 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gripping adventure story about the Arctic, told with attention to personalities, events, and politics. The author's awareness of the courage and hardships of native peoples is touching and informative. You can't imagine how these brave men can hope to accomplish the rescue--the obstacles of wind, weather, and ice just seem too great. The book teaches the reader a lot about the harsh Arctic climate and about, of course, the dogs!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
5 stars for historical accuracy and colorful descriptions of a time long gone. Shows the best side of man and weaker side that surfaces when confronted by daunting circumstances.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is another book that turned out to be geared towards kids. Adults shouldn’t let that keep them from reading it though. It’s an awe-inspiring, gripping, edge-of-your-seat read that practically demands a warm blankey and mug of cocoa to go with it. Suddenly our Chicagoland winter doesn’t seem nearly so bad by comparison.
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