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ANTARCTICA by Walter Dean Myers


Journeys to the South Pole

by Walter Dean Myers

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-22001-7
Publisher: Scholastic

A solid history of Antarctic exploration takes readers from the times when it was known simply as Terra Australis Incognita to the present—and beyond. Myers ably presents exploration of the region as a continuum, from Captain James Cook’s first charting of the continent through the region’s exploitation by sealers and the early-19th-century voyages before moving on to the great period of polar contests, with Scott, Amundsen, Mawson, and Shackleton all elbowing at each other to mark new Firsts. Such a treatment necessarily restricts coverage of each expedition to broad outlines, but readers will gain both a good sense of the interaction of the key players and enough background to move on knowledgeably to more detailed examinations of individual expeditions. Unfortunately, they will have to rely on their librarians for help, as there is no bibliography for further reading (only Myers’s sources), a significant failing given the many fine books for young readers available. The narrative is infused with the author’s enthusiasm, so much so that his final Captain Kirk–inspired exhortation works without seeming too unutterably cheesy. A worthy introduction to a fascinating subject. (timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-14)