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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A novelistic account of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1916, based in part on unpublished archival materials.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 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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