Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

4.4 44
by Andrea White
     
 

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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. See more details below

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.

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:
04/05/2005
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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