Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott race to the South Pole

Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott race to the South Pole

Gare Thompson
Non Fiction
For ages 6 to 9
National Geographic, 2007   ISBN: 1426301871

In 1910, two explorers had the same dream, Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott both wanted to be the first men to reach the South Pole. Over the years Amundsen had learned a good deal about how to survive the harsh conditions at the Poles, and Robert Scott had actually explored parts of Antarctica. Both men knew that it would be a race, and both were determined to be the winner.

When his ship, the Fram, reached the Ross Ice Shelf, Amundsen set about getting his men, and his sled dogs ready for the ordeal. Food was taken to the camp, the dogs were trained, and every precaution was taken to make sure that things went well.

Robert Scott also anchored his ship on the Ross Ice Shelf. His preparations did not, unfortunately, go as well. The motor sleds he had brought with him did not work, and the ponies did not do well in the harsh conditions. Furthermore, the men did not know how to work with the dogs. Scott and his men went on exploratory trips that tired them out too much. Would Scott’s men and animals be up for the challenge ahead?

In this excellent title, Gare Thompson tells the stories of Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott to great effect. Readers will see how the approaches of the two men differed, and how these approaches affected the outcome of the race to the South Pole. The well written narrative is broken up by annotated period photographs.

This is one of the titles in the History Chapters series.