Trapped by the Ice!: Shackleton's Amazing Antarctic Adventure

Overview

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, the expedition ship, the Endurance, was finally crushed and Shackleton and his men made the very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, the expedition ship, the Endurance, was finally...

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Overview

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, the expedition ship, the Endurance, was finally crushed and Shackleton and his men made the very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, the expedition ship, the Endurance, was finally crushed and Shackleton and his men made the very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Michael McCurdy's plain-spoken text and understated pale palette of blues, lavenders and greens suit his story.... McCurdy captures not only the elemental fears but the daily grubbiness of the adventure.” —The New York Times Book Review, Rebecca Pepper Sinkler

“ A dramatic introduction to Ernest Shackleton's Trans-Atlantic Expedition; brought to a chilling halt when their ship, Endurance, was irrevocably gripped by the Weddell ice pack. Most will find the account gripping and will want to know more about this awesome journey under appalling conditions.”—School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McCurdy (Hannah's Farm) uses pale, frosty paints and comparatively sketchy compositionsa marked departure from his trademark prints and scratchboard illustrationsto chronicle Sir Ernest Shackleton's (1874-1922) doomed third expedition to Antarctica, where he hoped to be the first to cross the polar ice cap. Written as dated entries, but in the third person the story begins on October 27, 1915, when Shack's ship becomes trapped in thick ice. What follows is a grim catalogue of mishaps: after their ship sinks, the explorer and his half-frozen crew sail in lifeboats to Elephant Island, where they find "nothing but rock, ice, snowand wind"; when Shack and a handful of his party seek help, they encounter ferocious hurricane and impassable mountain peaks. McCurdy includes gritty details to give a sense of daily life, noting that after more than five months without baths "the men smelled terrible" and that the crew drank rancid seal oil to stave off seasickness. Although they never accomplish their original goal, Shack and his colleagues survive against enormous odds. The bleakness of McCurdy's spare, largely monochromatic renderings of the Antarctic setting, however appropriate, offer little visual variety; moreover, his depictions of the explorers can be wooden. The unrelentingly harsh material does not yield a particularly rewarding story. Ages 7-10. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In 1914, the intrepid Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, while attempting to be the first to cross the South Polar ice cap, were stranded far from human settlements when their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice. Using the written accounts of these hardy men as primary sources, the author has created a brief, exciting tale, recounting how Shackleton and his crew struggled for two years to reach human habitation. Realistic paintings, done in icy shades of blue, gray, green, and white, add to the appeal of this non-fiction picture book. Maps, an author's note, afterwards, and brief index and bibliography are included.
Children's Literature - Dr. Beverly Kobrin
In Michael McCurdy's impressive distillation of Shackleton's "amazing Antarctic adventure," scarcely more than 20 paragraphs set inside 16 double-page spreads. The author/artist covers events from October 27th, 1915, when the Endeavor, trapped by the ice, is in its last throes and survival becomes the expedition's focus. A brief introduction and afterward frame the account.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7A dramatic introduction to Robert Shackleton and his ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, brought to a chilling halt when their ship, Endurance, was irrevocably gripped by the Weddell ice pack. In the days before easy radio contact and rescue planes, the explorer and his small crew were as remote as modern-day astronauts in a malfunctioning space stationand in an environment almost as hostile. Using journals kept by expedition members and Shackleton's own account, McCurdy presents a chronology of events in the two-year saga of survival as the men coped with bitter cold, fierce storms, semi-starvation, and the certain knowledge that rescue depended solely on their own efforts and the determination of their leader. The low-keyed narration is accompanied by commanding, glacial-toned illustrations, many based on stills taken by Shackleton's photographer. Maps and an informative afterword complete the attractive package. While some readers may be deterred by the large picture-book format, most will find the account gripping and will want to know more about this awesome journey under appalling conditions.Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
McCurdy (The Old Man and the Fiddle, 1992, etc.) switches from his familiar woodcut style to realistic paintings of landscapes, ice, and ocean in a retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton's famous expedition.

It was 1915 when, during Shackleton's attempt to cross the polar ice cap, the Endurance became trapped in ice, soon to be crushed and sunk. McCurdy covers the desperate problems faced by the crew: how to survive without the ship; how to find food while they waited for open water; how they saved a sleeping crewman when their solid perch cracked in two during the night. Frightening voyages in lifeboats and a near-impossible climb on a snow-covered mountain are part of the story; a party of three makes it to a whaling station on South Georgia Island, and no men are lost. The telling is clear and laced with excellent detail, but the picture-book format is less than ideal, requiring an author's note, foreword, and afterword for many of the details; further, the older audience for which the material has the most appeal may be uncomfortable with the format. Although McCurdy's galvanizing enthusiasm comes across on every page, the pictures—and the bleak, unchanging landscape—don't communicate the cold nor the toll that time and the elements took on the men's clothing and faces. Still, aspects of this are riveting, and it will certainly lead readers into longer, more detailed accounts of this two-year expedition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802776334
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 591,953
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.51 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael McCurdy is the illustrator of Walker & Company’s The Signers and the author/illustrator of Trapped by the Ice, CBC-NCSS Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. He has illustrated more than 150 books and has twice received the New York Times Best Illustrated Books award. Michael lives in western Massachusetts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    I did NOT like this book!!!

    I did NOT like this book at all

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