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The Impossible Rescue Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145585185X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455851850
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,002,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 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 JAB on January 27, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, It's astonishing to see what these men went through. First off, this book covers many things such as the arctic, survival, determination, and teamwork, If these men had just given up or didn't work together, than this story would have had a completely different ending.

Besides telling the story of the rescue of which was the first of this type of scale, a large amount of photos are included which provide some more insight of what it was like for the rescue part. Besides the photos, there are also some quotes from journals the survivors kept and they also provide insight on what it must have been like. These men had to go through a lot like hunger, the cold, losing faith and much more. Despite the odds, these men stayed strong, and their story of survival is a must read.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite books. It shows the endurance and perseverance of the American people. Who would have tried to rescue these people by putting their very lives at risk? Everything had to be just right, i.e. the weather, the food supply, as well as the cooperation of others met along the route. Everyone had to be willing to risk all and do their part for these people to be rescued. It is an easy read for not only adults, but also for children from about 12 years old and up..
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