Trapped in Ice!: An Amazing True Whaling Adventure

Overview


In this true story that reads as action-adventure, learn how 1,219 members of the world's largest whaling expedition managed to survive after becoming entrapped within an Arctic ice shelf.

In the late summer of 1871, thirty-nine whaling ships traveled to the frigid Arctic waters in search of the prized bowhead whale. Despite warnings from local Inuit tribes about impending inclement weather, thirty-two of the whaling ships--carrying 1,219 officers, crewmen, women, and ...

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Overview


In this true story that reads as action-adventure, learn how 1,219 members of the world's largest whaling expedition managed to survive after becoming entrapped within an Arctic ice shelf.

In the late summer of 1871, thirty-nine whaling ships traveled to the frigid Arctic waters in search of the prized bowhead whale. Despite warnings from local Inuit tribes about impending inclement weather, thirty-two of the whaling ships--carrying 1,219 officers, crewmen, women, and children--decided to journey ahead. When a succession of icy storms ensued, the ships' captains realized that they were, literally, trapped in ice. What followed was a desperate race toward rescue--and against certain death. And, in an extraordinary testament to human courage and perseverance, all survived.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Booklist
Gr. 5–8. In the 1800s, whaling was an important, profitable enterprise: sperm oil was used for fuel and whalebone was turned into a number of useful products. Whaling was also dangerous. In 1871, people aboard 32 whaling ships discovered just how dangerous Arctic waters could be after they ignored warnings of an early winter. As conditions worsened, the ships were trapped by ice, forcing the 1,219 people to abandon the vessels or die. Sandler's account of this true story is both informative and absorbing, describing key players and their difficult journey as well as whaling history and technique. Side notes on such topics as life aboard ship and women at sea, and well-chosen illustrations, extend readers' understanding. While Sandler's use of accounts from journals and ships' logs is exemplary, adding immediacy and color to his narrative, his failure to cite his own sources is an unfortunate oversight. Appended are a further reading list and a glossary. For more real-life sea adventures in wintry, watery climes, suggest Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (2000). –Krista Hutley

SLJ
SANDLER, Martin W. Trapped in Ice!: An Amazing True Whaling Adventure. 168p. photos. reprods. further reading. glossary. index. CIP. Scholastic Nonfiction. 2006. Tr $16.99. ISBN 0-439-74363-X. LC 2005042644.
Gr 5-8–Readers can imagine 1219 stories of individual hardship when they read about the events of 1871 when an entire fleet of whaling ships was lost to Arctic ice. Beyond the challenges of whaling itself, the amazing part of this story is that all of the passengers and crew of this expedition survived. Why did 32 of the 39 captains ignore the Inuit's warnings of an early winter? Could they have saved the ships and their valuable harvest if they had waited out the weather? Was abandoning everything to save their lives the only option? What were their thoughts as they endured an 80-mile journey in sub-zero temperatures to reach rescue ships? Sandler uses strings of questions to emphasize the uncertainty of the circumstances and build suspense. Reproduced in frigid blue, primary documents including maps, photos, and period paintings represent the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Nine informational insets provide details about such subjects as whales, harpoons, and whaleboats. Although they tend to be terse, quotes from captains and crew contextualize the events. Like the ships that hunted whales, there are few embellishments. Still, the circumstances of this adventure, the history of whaling, and the specifics of the rescue are sensational. While mixing the terms “Eskimo” and “Inuit” is culturally insensitive, and the financial loss would be more profound if the author had converted 1871 dollars into contemporary values, this is a gripping combination of survival story and history.–Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

VOYA
Whaling was a way of life for many New Englanders during the nineteenth century, and the whale oil and bone that they risked their lives to obtain were used by Americans throughout the country. In many cases, these unsung heroes were teenaged boys who would start a voyage "green," growing into accomplished whalers after months and even years on the sea. Whaling was fraught with danger, not only from the enormous creatures that were hunted but also from unpredictable seas and weather that could send a huge whaling ship to a watery grave. This adventure story is about one group of whale ships that traveled from New Bedford, Massachusetts, around the tip of South America, and back up to the Arctic Ocean, pursuing the bowhead whale for its highly prized bone. Ignoring Native warnings of early ice, thirty-two of the original thirty-nine whale ships found themselves and their 1,200 crew members trapped by crushing ice and facing imminent death. Illustrated with actual photos and period artwork and followed by a list for further reading, this tale of the high seas rescue is a fascinating testimony to the strength of the sailors who conquered the elements to follow the call of the sea. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Scholastic, 176p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Further Reading., Ages 11 to 15.
—Michele Winship
Children's Literature - Barbara Troisi
It is mid-September 1871. The captains of nine whaling ships fail to heed the dire warnings of the natives and the unseasonable ice build-up, which ultimately traps 1,219 lives of men, women, and children in the Arctic ice. This title not only shares the dangerous battle for survival against nature's frigid elements and time, but also relates the real-life account of the whaling industry era. Mariners, at least half under 19 years of age, were recruited to learn tricks of the trade for harpooning and processing products of Earth's largest creatures—sperm whales for their lamp oil, candles, and lubricant; and bowhead's baleen extracted for pre-plastic and flexible steel products. An anchor and nautical song, article, or comment begins each chapter and conveys its theme. Hues of blue accent the theme and add nostalgia with old lithographs featuring captions printed in antique fonts, maps, documents, water stained pages, text, and endpapers. Two-page summaries—"The Roving Whalers," "New Bedford," "Women at Sea," "Life on a Whaleship," "The Whaleship," "The Whaleboat," "Logbooks," and "Whalers of Color"—make readers privy to the uniqueness of whaling. Suggested readings and a glossary of terms add value to the whaling theme. A table of contents and index are included. Art credits are listed, but missing are the author's citation of sources. Young readers seeking historical drama and whaling intrigue will be caught up with this survival quest as "greenies" go on a "Nantucket sleigh ride" pulled by a maddened harpooned whale or "bailing out the case" buried inside a whale head.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Readers can imagine 1219 stories of individual hardship when they read about the events of 1871 when an entire fleet of whaling ships was lost to Arctic ice. Beyond the challenges of whaling itself, the amazing part of this story is that all of the passengers and crew of this expedition survived. Why did 32 of the 39 captains ignore the Inuit's warnings of an early winter? Could they have saved the ships and their valuable harvest if they had waited out the weather? Was abandoning everything to save their lives the only option? What were their thoughts as they endured an 80-mile journey in sub-zero temperatures to reach rescue ships? Sandler uses strings of questions to emphasize the uncertainty of the circumstances and build suspense. Reproduced in frigid blue, primary documents including maps, photos, and period paintings represent the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Nine informational insets provide details about such subjects as whales, harpoons, and whaleboats. Although they tend to be terse, quotes from captains and crew contextualize the events. Like the ships that hunted whales, there are few embellishments. Still, the circumstances of this adventure, the history of whaling, and the specifics of the rescue are sensational. While mixing the terms "Eskimo" and "Inuit" is culturally insensitive, and the financial loss would be more profound if the author had converted 1871 dollars into contemporary values, this is a gripping combination of survival story and history.-Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439743631
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 969,526
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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