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
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 picturesand the bleak, unchanging landscapedon'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.