An unusually vivid retelling of the epic survival tale.



A novelistic account of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1916, based in part on unpublished archival materials.

Taking place against the backdrop of World War I and following in the wake of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s record-setting achievements and the death of fellow countryman Robert F. Scott, Ernest Shackleton and his crew set off on the Endurance in hopes of being the first to successfully cross Antarctica. Though for the sake of drama the disastrous expedition’s events need no embellishment, Grochowicz does add considerable immediacy to her account by casting events in the present tense and inventing some colorful dialogue with occasional speculative thoughts or actions to accompany it. Showing a fine sense of discrimination, she leaves the shooting of the sledge dogs (and the expedition’s cat, Mrs Chippy) offstage but presents in exacting detail rousing scenes such as the time one of the all-White expedition’s members fell into the rotting carcass of a whale as well as need-to-know bits like how to gut and skin a penguin and use its blubber as makeshift soap. The spate of short, rapid-fire chapters is prefaced by two maps and a portrait gallery of rugged-looking expeditioners (including Mrs Chippy) by Lippett and closes with a substantial, scholarly source list. Additional spot art enhances the opening of each new chapter. The engaging and dynamic writing will hook even readers who typically do not gravitate toward nonfiction.

An unusually vivid retelling of the epic survival tale. (key individuals, timeline) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-76052-609-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: A & U Children/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history.



Well-documented proof that, when it came to early automobiles, it wasn’t just men who took the wheel.

Despite relentlessly flashy page design that is more distracting than otherwise and a faint typeface sure to induce eyestrain, this companion to Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (2011) chronicles decided shifts in gender attitudes and expectations as it puts women (American women, mostly) behind the wheel in the first decades of the 20th century. Sidebar profiles and features, photos, advertisements, and clippings from contemporary magazines and newspapers festoon a revved-up narrative that is often set in angular blocks for added drama. Along with paying particular attention to women who went on the road to campaign for the vote and drove ambulances and other motor vehicles during World War I, Macy recounts notable speed and endurance races, and she introduces skilled drivers/mechanics such as Alice Ramsey and Joan Newton Cuneo. She also diversifies the predominantly white cast with nods to Madam C.J. Walker, her daughter, A’Lelia (both avid motorists), and the wartime Colored Women’s Motor Corps. An intro by Danica Patrick, checklists of “motoring milestones,” and an extended account of an 1895 race run and won by men do more for the page count than the overall story—but it’s nonetheless a story worth the telling.

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history. (index, statistics, source notes, annotated reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2697-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.



Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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