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Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance Paperback – September 12, 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Christine Moesch, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I was disturbed, however, by the author's commentary in one of the photo captions (see page 38 of the September 2000 paperback edition) where she takes extreme journalistic liberty regarding the early-century comedy practice, "blackface". Armstrong's thinly-veiled 'mini' "civil rights" commentary there is totally unnecessary and unprofessional. Her assertion does, however, illustrate the ease at which historical revisionism exerts itself. Such journalistic hubris reminds me of what Wrangler (Jean Company)did a few years ago in a sales advertisement when they air-brushed the cigarettes from the mouths of cowboys in a well-known, c. 1800's historical portrait. While it benefited them (Wrangler)to use the rugged "realism" of these cowboys, the "realism" of the current times (ie., anti-smoking) was not allowed---selective "truth", if you will (a Stalinesque technique). Only the politically correct version of history allowed here!
The author follows Shackleton's trip from England to South Georgia Island, then the failed attempt to get to the Antarctic continent. The ship becomes stuck in ice, but the ice migrates, moving the Endurance further north, toward the open ocean. Before they reach the sea the ice crushes the ship, forcing the men to abandon it. It is after the sinking of the Endurance that the narrative gets so exciting that the book is impossible to put down. The reader reads with growing horror of the crew's travail across the ice and out to tiny, barren Elephant Island.
When it seems that the men can't possibly have anything worse ahead of them, Shackleton and five men sail a small lifeboat eight hundred miles back to South Georgia Island. Armstrong's description of the harrowing fifteen days spent in the lifeboat holds the reader in a vise-like grip. She winds down the tension with a very satisfying epilogue relating what the crewmembers did with the rest of their lives. The captioned photograph at the end of the book showing the entire crew shortly after their return to civilization is a perfect touch.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have used this for teaching my annual Shackleton unit at the 8th grade level. Have also given away several copies.Published 13 months ago by D. Mack
Arrived as expected, good condition and promptly. Reading is a bit dry but needed it for a test.Published 15 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is a fairly short book, only about 140 pages, but every page packs a wallop. This is a very well written book and the story is clearly told and the photos only add to the... Read morePublished 18 months ago by J.E.B