Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance
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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What's the story?
This is the incredible survival saga of Ernest Shackleton, who attempted to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914, and who, with his crew of twenty-seven, ended up trapped in an ice pack for seven months.
When their ship was finally crushed by the ice, Shackleton and crew survived another five months on the moving ice floes, traveled through storm-tossed seas to an uninhabited island, and were finally rescued, two years after they had set out, when Shackleton and five crew members traveled eight hundred miles in an open boat to get help. Not a man was lost.
Includes maps, bibliography, and index.
Is it any good?
This unbelievable story -- the subject of numerous books, articles, and even a museum exhibition -- is enhanced by Jennifer Armstrong's breathtaking prose. From the spellbinding introduction through the epilogue, it is her writing as much as the story that rivets the reader's attention. The tale is a testament to the old-fashioned virtues that made the British such great explorers during the height of their Empire. Courage, fortitude, perseverance, good cheer and humor in the face of disaster, and that uniquely British trait called the "stiff upper lip" are all on display, as the crew endures the most punishing setbacks yet ultimately triumphs.
The photos, taken mostly on glass plates by Frank Hurley, survived along with the men, and are of exceptional quality. Along with the text, they provide a you-are-there quality that keeps readers holding their breaths for much of the story. This account is told as the most exciting of adventure tales, the way history for children should be written.