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Author: William Grill

Illustrator: William Grill

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Flying Eye Books, 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: From a very young age Ernest Shackleton loved books, but not school. He left school at 16 to become a sailor. He was part of the Discovery expedition led by Captain Scott. When Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole before Scott, Shackleton decided he wanted to make a name for himself. He captained the Endurance and set out on a voyage to make the first sea-to-sea crossing of Antarctica. When his ship became trapped in ice, it forced the crew to embark on a desperate trek to seek rescue. This picture book describes Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica in 1914.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: Read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 10 to 13

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: What I liked most about the book was the detailed information about the expedition. The colorful, accurate illustrations really helped me understand all that was involved in this voyage and the difficult conditions they faced. The glossary is also helpful. I didn't like that all of the dogs - who had worked so hard for the crew - died or had to be shot because there wasn't room for them. I would recommend borrowing this book from the library or buying it as a gift for your school library.

Adult Reader Reaction: This was an interesting book. I anticipated that it would be more of a biography, but it was not. The book focuses more on the Endurance, her crew, and expedition, with the focus shifting among them inconsistently. The simplicity of the illustrations add the story telling, but don't fully capture the passage of time. They also mute the severity of their situation. Because of this book I want to find other story's about Ernest Shackleton.

Pros: The themes in this book are bravery, endurance, and adventure. Middle grade readers who love history and extreme adventure will be wrapped up in this picture book about Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antartica.

Cons: It may be helpful for some readers to have a map alongside the book as they read. The interior map drawings are largely insets and may not give readers a full understanding of the geography or distances.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book you may explore or read once or twice. It would be good for a middle school library.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible voyage by Alfred Lansing; Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space by Dominic Walliman KEEP ON! The Story of Matthew Henson Co-Discoverer of the North Pole   SURVIVAL AT 40 BELOW   EXTREME ANIMALS: The Toughest Creatures on Earth

Educational Themes: The book lays out Shackleton's expedition in great detail, allowing readers to use the book to build expedition timelines; research members of the crew; study technology of the time; plot maps, and study weather, animal life, and other things related to Antarctica; and compare this to other expeditions of the time.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - history, geography, biography, picture book, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2016, June 2016

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at


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