Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

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Overview

In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a reality television show, secretly aided by a Department of Entertainment employee.

In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a ...

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Overview

In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a reality television show, secretly aided by a Department of Entertainment employee.

In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a reality television show, secretly aided by a Department of Entertainment employee.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Politics and pop culture collide in White's provocative debut novel, a dystopian view of America in which 14-year-olds must win a game of chance called "Toss" in order to continue their education, and environmental disasters and overpopulation have scarred the country. The Department of Entertainment controls all television, with the goal of attaining 100% viewership-the resulting complacency keeps down the nation's crime rate. Stephen Michael, now 17, lost his Toss, but he has managed to land a job editing the latest incarnation of the popular Historical Survivor series (a reality show), in which five 14-year-olds will retrace the steps of Robert F. Scott's failed 1912 expedition to reach the South Pole. Robert, Billy, Polly, Andrew and Grace are chosen for their specific abilities: Polly for her photographic memory, for instance, and Andrew for his tolerance of the cold. Thanks to his position, Stephen is able to communicate with Andrew and tries to help the children on their trek (the Secretary of Entertainment has planned several "calamities" to make for better TV). White paints a vision of a government-driven, TV-obsessed future that hits close to home, and also interweaves facts about Scott's mission from primary sources (through Polly's research). This page-turning adventure may well pry a few of today's couch potatoes away from the TV. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
White's novel predicts the future of television as the source for all edu-tainment headed by the government's Secretary of Entertainment. In 2083, a toss of the dice determines which 14-year-olds win scholarships to continue their education and which will have to go out into the world of work to earn a meager living. For those who lose the toss, there is little else to do, unless selected to be a participant on one of the many reality shows where large cash prizes barely offset a year's tuition. The newest installment of the Historical Survivor series is a reenactment of Robert F. Scott's 1912 expedition to the South Pole by five 14-year-old kids. Polly, Billy, Andrew, Robert and Grace are selected because each of them brings a special talent to the show. Polly has a photographic memory. Grace is an Inupiat Eskimo. Andrew has remarkable navigation skills. Robert has excellent leadership and survival skills. Billy is the only one with serious snow and ice experience. Or is he? As the teens head out to Antarctica to start their expedition with the same equipment Scott's team used, they are monitored by the night shift in the Department of Entertainment. Steve has just been transferred to this shift, and the Antarctic Survivor kids have become his special project. Of course, no one on the original expedition survived, and whether or not these five contestants will make it to the Pole alive is just what sends ratings through the roof. Peppered with excerpts from actual historical documents, this novel marries historical and futuristic fiction in a thrilling page-turner. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, HarperCollins, 325p.,Ages 12 to 18.
—Michele Winship
KLIATT - Michele Winship
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2005: White's novel predicts the future of television as the source for all edu-tainment headed by the government's Secretary of Entertainment. In 2083, a toss of the dice determines which 14-year-olds win scholarships to continue their education and which will have to go out into the world of work to earn a meager living. For those who lose the toss, there is little else to do, unless selected to be a participant on one of the many reality shows where large cash prizes barely offset a year's tuition. The newest installment of the Historical Survivor series is a reenactment of Robert F. Scott's 1912 expedition to the South Pole by five 14-year-old kids. Polly, Billy, Andrew, Robert and Grace are selected because each of them brings a special talent to the show. Polly has a photographic memory. Grace is an Inupiat Eskimo. Andrew has remarkable navigation skills. Robert has excellent leadership and survival skills. Billy is the only one with serious snow and ice experience. Or is he? As the teens head out to Antarctica to start their expedition with the same equipment Scott's team used, they are monitored by the night shift in the Department of Entertainment. Steve has just been transferred to this shift, and the Antarctic Survivor kids have become his special project. Of course, no one on the original expedition survived, and whether or not these five contestants will make it to the Pole alive is just what sends ratings through the roof. Peppered with excerpts from actual historical documents, this novel marries historical and futuristic fiction in a thrilling page-turner.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-In 2083, all education in the United States is conducted through television. Shows re-creating historical events like the Battle of the Alamo are used to teach history, and also to give losers in the educational dice roll a chance to earn fame and money. The Secretary of Entertainment, worried about falling ratings, has come up with a splendid idea-re-create Robert F. Scott's 1912 expedition to the South Pole, using 14-year-old kids, most of whom have never even experienced snow. And make sure they are completely isolated by implanting tiny digital cameras directly into their corneas, thus avoiding the need for pesky camera crews who might interfere with the drama. The five participants are the usual band of misfits, including Grace, an I-upiat Eskimo transplanted to Arizona after Alaska is turned into a nuclear waste dump, and Billy, who desperately wants to be voted MVP, but hides snack food from his starving companions. There's also Polly, who has an amazing memory and a surprising capacity for leadership; Robert, great with engines and sheer determination; and Andrew, searching for his special talent and finding unexpected depths of courage. Back in the television studio, a few brave employees surreptitiously help the kids and try to figure out a way to stop the madness. Brisk action, interesting characters, and intriguing (sometimes gruesome) details make this a compelling story, while television's pervasive presence in our lives and the undeniable popularity of the "reality" format give a rather frightening timeliness and believability to the tale.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This tale of five 14-year-olds in a life-endangering reality show sustains tension through the middle, but ends weakly. In a grim American future-a dystopia without complexity-television reigns supreme. Reality programming teases contestants with money for education beyond eighth grade while providing viewers a distraction from poverty and hopelessness. Its new gimmick is children: The DOE (Department of Entertainment, responsible for all television and schooling) sends five kids to Antarctica to simulate the historical 1911 Scott expedition to the South Pole. As with previous Historical Survivor series, injuries and deaths are welcomed for their high ratings. Nauseated by the spectacle, a sad DOE employee secretly helps the kids, but frigid polar conditions and DOE sabotage may triumph anyway. Quotations from Scott's real diary flavor the adventure, but White's ending lacks substance: the trip is aborted and the future (for characters and society) lies stagnantly between hope and despair. Some nice characterization and connection with historical explorers, but closes with an emptiness reminiscent of reality TV itself. (end note, bibliography) (Science fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060554552
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea White was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but has spent most of her life in Houston, Texas. She received both undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas. She has had several short stories published; this is her first book.

Besides writing, Ms. White is a community volunteer and education activist. She is married to Bill White, formerly an energy official in the Clinton administration and now the mayor of Houston. The Whites have three children: Will, Elena, and Stephen. They love to hike and camp, and although they've had some hair-raising adventures, says Ms. White, all were tame compared to what happens in Surviving Antarctica.

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First Chapter

Surviving Antarctica
Reality TV 2083

Chapter One

Three years later

Andrew Morton was lounging in the soft spot in the tattered couch where he always watched television. He tried to feel cozy and warm, as he usually did in his hollow, but he couldn't. His dad was screaming at him.

His father, a big man, wore an undershirt and pants. "If you fail teleschool again, your mom and I will have to watch sixty hours of parenting classes. Sixty hours of idiots telling me how to get my son to do better on his television tests. Do you know how boring those parenting classes are?" His voice dropped. "You read me?"

Andrew nodded.

"The law says you have to pass eighth grade. You're the unluckiest kid I've ever known. You're sure to lose your Toss. You only need to make a sixty-five or above. After you pass, you're finished studying for your whole life. Are you ready?"

"Yes, sir." Andrew had watched reruns of Historical Survivor, Dialing for Dollars, and Tele-Novelas for the past week.

"I'm going to turn on the test." His father clicked the remote. retakes for eighth grade final exams, July 15, 2083 appeared on the screen.

A voice broke in. "But first a special message from the Secretary."

The redheaded Secretary of Entertainment was young to be so important. She leaned toward Andrew and seemed to be speaking only to him. "I'm sponsoring something very special for eighth graders this year. Apply to be a contestant on my new upcoming Historical Survivor series for kids. If you finish the game, you'll be paid ten thousand dollars, and if you're voted Most Valuable Player, you'll win an extra ninety thousand dollars, for a grand total of one hundred thousand dollars. The series is set in Antarctica, one of the coolest places in the world. Press enter now if you're interested."

"Press enter!" Andrew's dad barked.

Andrew pressed enter on the keyboard.

"After the test, an application will appear on the screen," the Secretary concluded. "Complete it and submit it, along with your test. Good luck." "Do it!" Andrew's dad ordered. "Maybe your mother and I'll get lucky and you'll go to Antarctica. You know you had an ancestor who was an explorer there?" Andrew had heard his aunt speak of a distant uncle, a man named Bowers. eighth grade history final retake appeared on the screen. "When did Bowers explore Antarctica?" Andrew asked. His father pointed sternly at the question on the screen. "You can't put your test off any longer." Andrew read: question 1: which pharaoh built the most pyramids in ancient egypt? He should know this answer. He had watched every episode of Egyptian Pyramid Historical Survivor. "Remember!" his dad thundered before leaving. "A sixty-five or above!" It was a cool day, but Andrew wiped the sweat off his face before he began to work.

From her stall at the flea market in Times Square, Polly Pritchard watched the bustle of the vendors behind aging stands, the brightly colored signs of all shapes and sizes, and the crowds of worried-looking people carrying shopping bags. She reminded herself that she didn't know what else to do. Although she had been a nationally recognized student on EduTV, she had lost her Toss. Her mother was disabled. A few years ago, her father had died of tuberculosis. Without the help of a Toss scholarship, she had no money to continue in school. When the flea market offered her father's old stall, she had to take it. So here she was today, working as a memorist for the first time. Mr. Pebst, her father's former partner, had willingly given her the money for the stall in exchange for an agreement that she would give him twenty percent of her take.

"Are you as good as your father?" Mr. Pebst had asked her. Before she could speak, he shook his head. "Nobody was as good as him. In the twenty years that I knew him, he never once got anything wrong. He was the best."

Her customers might ask her anything—the date of George Washington's death, the distance to the moon, the calories in a peanut. She had learned many of her facts from reading the World Book encyclopedia. But most of her business would be from shoppers. Polly's head was full of jumbled phrases from the morning's paper and from the bulletin boards she had read on her way to work: "Instant Travel, the world's first human fax." "Fastgrow: Watch your hair grow one foot each night or your money back." "Dream Hat: Finally you can photograph your dreams." "Help the victims of the Urban Trash Wars by donating to . . ." And she found herself wondering, not for the first time, if the kids on her street were right, if the Memory was a curse. Casey Duncan claimed that Polly's brain would explode before she was twenty.

A customer, her first, hobbled toward her.

The old woman scrutinized Polly's face for a second before bursting out, "I need to know if there are any used televisions for sale. They'll take my grandkids from me if I don't have a television."

Polly nodded. Everybody knew that the law required all kids under the age of fourteen to watch thirty hours of teleschool a week.

"I'll pay you a dime. That's all you're worth." The old woman's teeth were the brown, unhealthy color of the endless smog that blanketed the city.

"Okay." Polly tried to ignore the woman's rudeness. Once her mother had been unable to afford a television repairman, and her fear had made her grouchy too. The old woman flung the dime into Polly's empty jar.

"There's a basement sale on the corner of Broadway and Fifty-first that lists a used television along with an EduTV attachment," Polly said.

"You're sure?" The old woman shook a bony finger at Polly.

"I saw it on a bulletin board."

"I want my dime back if you're wrong," the old woman warned her.

Polly shrugged and wondered how her father had worked at this job for thirty years.

Surviving Antarctica
Reality TV 2083
. Copyright © by Andrea White. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

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(31)

4 Star

(7)

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(2)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Surprising

    I was surprised after I read this book.I bought it because it was on my school's reading list, so of course I believed it would be boring.But infact it was the opposite, I enjoyed this book all the way through.It only took my one day to read it, because I wnated to fine out what happened next.Over all this book is a noteworthy piece.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Amazing book!!

    I recomend this book to anyone looking for a good book. I couldnt stop reading and i fell in love with the characters instantly. I got mad at some points feeling like i was right inside the book with the caracters on their journey.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Not that good.....

    Just kidding. This book was amazing. I literally couldn't put the book down. My teacher took it away because I wasn't paying attention. Recomended for any one who likes adventure and action.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Perry for TeensReadToo.com

    Imagine a world where there are no public schools and only the extremely rich can afford to go to high school and beyond. Those not fortunate enough to be wealthy have to rely on "The Toss" that occurs once a year. All the fourteen-year-old teens gather for their opportunity to roll the dice. If the correct combination comes up (which changes for every person), they are awarded a scholarship for continued schooling. If you don't roll the correct combination, there is no education in your future. <BR/><BR/>For all children younger than fourteen, school consists of television. Programming is Historical Simulation Reality Shows, similar to today's Survivor. People are put in scenarios such as Civil War battles, the Alamo, and Egyptian Pyramid building. Intermingled with the show are quizzes about content and vocabulary. <BR/><BR/>This is the world five young people find themselves in during the year 2083. All five fourteen-year-old teens have lost their toss and can't afford to pay their own way through high school and college. So, when they see an advertisement offering a chance to participate in the latest survival show--this one involving kids instead of adults--they waste no time putting in their application for Historical Antarctica Survivor. Everyone that makes it to the end of the journey receives $10,000--enough for a year of high school. The person voted Most Valuable Player by the viewers will receive an additional $90,000. <BR/><BR/>After receiving a few days of snow and ice survival training, the kids take off for their adventure. As soon as they arrive at the Antarctic though, they understand just how dangerous the trip is going to be. Alone in the icy wilderness, the kids must survive natural and orchestrated calamities in order to make it to the end of the game. With the aid of an unlikely helper, the kids just might make it through. <BR/><BR/>Andrea White creates an interesting look at a possible future society. SURVIVING ANTARCTICA: REALITY TV 2083 is an exciting page-turner. Once the reader begins the story, they won't mind being snowed in until they finish.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Dreamclaw

    How about Yum result five

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Awesome

    You guys have to read Windows on the World, too.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    I liked it

    I liked this book, although it got a little annoying switching the chararcters. Maybe a little too short. Wished the ending had more details. Very good overall.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Great idea for a story

    What could be next for reality TV? Mars? The bottom of the ocean? How about the South Pole? This is a great book for teenagers and adults. It takes the characters a while to get to Antarctica, but then things really begin to happen!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    Book for younger kids...

    I thought this book sounded really interesting at first, but as I got into it I was really disappointed. The dialogue was very simple and didn't add to the characters at all. The characters also seemed incredibly simplistic and 1-sided. Some of the action didn't seem believable and the ending was abrupt. For younger kids (grades K-5, maybe) the book might be more interesting. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, age 10 or over, who is looking for a somewhat sophisticated science fiction novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    Amazing

    Oh my gosh, i absolutley loved this book! When i first read it, i was super confused by the multiple POVs but as i got deeper into it, the more i understood and liked ot. READ IT RIGHT NOW, SERIOUSLY!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Awsome book!

    10/5 stars. That is all I need to say about it.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    A fast moving story of future dystopian U.S. Lots of interestin

    A fast moving story of future dystopian U.S. Lots of interesting details on how society has changed was one of the most interesting parts of the book (Secretary Of Entertainment, tv learning for kids). Good teen characters, each with skills &amp; weaknesses. Ending was a bit rushed and I wish they had stayed with the journey until the end vs. going back to the U.S. mainland.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    MEEMZ

    My class is reading this book right now and it seems really good I wentahead and read the end it was really suprising but wish the authour hadwriten about robert and grace at the pole she should havewritten an epilouge about them at the end then it would be my favorite book.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    StripedfeTher

    Im there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Slow but great

    The book is agood book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    The greatest book ever

    This book i read in third grade for the bluebonnet reading club and it was the book i chose to get for reading all the books in the list! My reading books and the love of literature comes from this book! Nothing more can make me doubt or even rethink about recommending thus book to a friend. I cant wit to read this book again now that i have this book for my nook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Great book

    This author really shouls write some more of these. She could write about when grace and robert reach the pole. This book reminds me so much of the hunger games series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    By likeaboss272 on xboxlive

    Great book but not my faveorite

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Great!!!

    Hunger games: this book Milk: cats

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2008

    I must say...

    I think this book is pretty good,but it seems to end way to fast,I mean, they don't even make it to the first depot!Those poor horses....and I wonder what happened afterwards how two kids stayed in Antarctica... though you don't find out about what happens...and then what did the kids do with their money?Did Polly go on to get a better education?I HAVE TO KNOW!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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