Books by Will Steger

Released: Feb. 1, 1997

Steger (for adults, Crossing Antarctica, 1992) recounts how, in 1995, he set out with 2 women, 4 men, 33 dogs, and 2 tons of gear to cross the ice-covered Arctic Ocean in this real-life adventure story. Teachers of geography and earth science will want to grab this text, packed with full-color photos of the Arctic landscape, the dog sleds, and team members in their elaborate gear, performing the many tasks necessary for their daily existence in a sub-zero environment. Steger's voyage, told in journal form, is straightforward but dramatic: Adversity confronted the group early on, when a sled broke through the ice and nearly drowned a team of dogs. Subsequently, one of the seasoned explorers resigned, and the remaining members of the group were forced to reassign responsibilities, reduce the number of sleds, and accept a 300-mile airlift over unstable ice. Steger's narrative shows that while the team charted their position with computers, communicated with classrooms around the world via a satellite uplink to the Internet, and wore clothing spun from space-age fiber, it was their physical stamina, knowledge of their dog teams, and their ability to work together that ultimately led to their success. The whole project is inspiring, and readers will find that it's worthwhile to get acquainted with this band of intrepid and remarkable people. (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 9, 1992

Routine account of a groundbreaking expedition in the Great White Waste. Steger, who conquered the North Pole by dog sled a few years ago (North to the Pole, 1989), and Bowermaster (coauthor with Steger of Saving the Earth, 1990) try hard to make their tale of the 1989 Trans-Antarctica Expedition a gripper. The superlatives roll out: the first crossing of Antarctica by dog sled and ski, battling windchills of minus-65 degrees and 100-mile-per-hour winds, crossing the terrifying ``Zone of Inaccessibility,'' and so on. But despite these thrills, the story slogs along. The problem may lie in the expedition itself, which was masterfully organized and proceeded without major mishaps. A safe expedition makes a slow read. The six-man international crew (French, American, British, Russian, Chinese, Japanese) did its job with just the usual bickering frostbite. A man missing overnight, a dog stuck in a crevasse—such is the adventure for the armchair explorer, who winds up mulling over the explorers' menu (lots of Land O' Lakes cheese) and methods of garbage disposal (bag it up, fly it out). The US, which routinely cold-shoulders free-lance explorers arriving at its South Pole base, comes off as the heavy. It snows a lot. Everyone gets home safely. Indispensable for Antarctica buffs, but for real chilly thrills, try Shackleton or Scott. (Eight pages of color photographs and ten maps—not seen.) Read full book review >