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The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World (New York Times) Hardcover – April 22, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–This exciting book is certain to fascinate readers. Revkin, a New York Times reporter, relates his journey to the top of the world in the company of scientists studying climate changes. The informative chapters weave together accounts of his experiences and observations with details about the environment, its exploration, and scientific concepts. He recounts ancient perceptions of the far north, the difficulties faced by the first explorers, and the highly publicized early-20th-century race to the pole. He also covers topics such as the movement of the magnetic pole, extracting and studying core samples of ancient rock for geological information, and tactics for surviving extreme conditions. The work of climatologists and oceanographers is introduced, along with a glimpse at the possible effects of global warming. Shortened articles from the New York Times on related subjects appear throughout. The illustrations include full-color photographs of the author's trek, archival reproductions and photos of previous excursions, original diagrams that clarify concepts, and maps. A blend of colorful full-bleed photos with text overlaid and smaller, bordered images makes for a dynamic layout. The wonderfully written narrative will pull youngsters into the book and hold them there willingly until the last page.–Jodi Kearns, University of Akron, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Published in association with the New York Times, this title chronicles environmental reporter Revkin's trip to the North Pole, where he shadowed a research team studying the relationship between the dwindling ice cap and global warming. Full-color photos and other images support Revkin's cogent discussions of polar history and science, but readers are likely to be most impressed by the vivid travel details; Revkin arrives armed with pencils (ink freezes), pocket warmers to insulate his laptop battery, and a cautious respect for the mercurial ice underfoot. Excerpts from theTimes tend to disrupt the flow of Revkin's central narrative, and the concluding resource listing is conspicuously dominated by citations to articles from the media giant's archives. Still, the firsthand perspectives give this New York Times series book an edge, and students aspiring to careers in field science or journalism may find their enthusiasms stoked by the extreme forms of both professions on display here. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1300L (What's this?)
  • Series: New York Times
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher (April 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753459930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753459935
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love to read anything about the poles! They just fascinate me; I mean who doesn't fantasize about the ends of the Earth? This book covers both the legends and lore of the northern most point as well as the science of the cold and white place. A good read for both the young and old.
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Format: Hardcover
After moving 400 yards an hour on an ice floe at the top of the world for three days, Science Writer Andrew Revkin looks down from a helicopter. He watches the icy expanses recede far below while he weighs questions and answers about global warming, and the challenge of presenting these to young readers who are often lured in other directions by iPods & computer games.

Tomorrow's scientists need to be 'shook up' and know there are still discoveries to be made; they can be the ones inventing new techniques needed to retrieve & examine rock core samples from deep below the ice. (See pictures on page 66). They can be detectives competing with the changing ice for answers to frustrating puzzles about the rising seas, for example.

The editor has used engravings and diagrams along with the latest photographs to give an impressive smattering of the history of arctic exploration. The double-spread of a lone seal on pages 100-101 should have been placed to better advantage, to help make Revkin's point about the loneliness of the Arctic where the silence is often interrupted by questions about the future of mankind. This is a excellent, stimulating book for all ages to read and discuss together.

The polar regions have always drawn explorers and it is our luck that the New York Times sent Andrew Revkin to the North to look for ways of stirring the public. We must each take an active interest and help stimulate youthful curiosity by showing the techniques used today. It is not enough to feel the exhilaration of travel without becoming responsible global citizens.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great example of well-written, entertaining, informative non-fiction for kids and teens. It's a great blend of science, history, culture, and travel commentary. Revkin gives the perfect amount of science about the North Pole without bogging the reader down. The photos were great, as were the New York Times articles scattered throughout. Very readable and attractive book.
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