Saturday, July 19, 2008
Shackleton's Stowaway by Victoria McKernan
I was mesmerized by this book, mostly because it's based so closely on history. It's a great way to learn about an amazing true survival story. In 1914, 28 men boarded a ship called The Endurance. Their goal was to get to Antarctica so a group of the men could be the first to cross the continent. It was supposed to be a big adventure and it was an honor to be part of the crew led by the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton. What happened was a complete disaster. The ship was frozen into the sea and finally broke apart, leaving the men stranded on the frozen sea. They were hungry and wet and freezing for over a year and a half before Shackleton found a way to save the lives of all 28 men. So much happens in this book that I can't even begin to summarize it. The author does a great job of taking real people (like Perce Blackborrow, the 18-year-old stowaway who ends up having his toes cut off) and bringing the story to life. Readers who like adventure and history will enjoy this book.