Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Shackleton and the Lost Antarctic Expedition

Shackleton and the Lost Antarctic Expedition

B. A. Hoena
Illustrator:  Dave Hoover , Charles Barnett III 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 8 to 10
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736854825

Ernest Shackleton very much wanted to be the first person to reach the South Pole but in 1912 a Norwegian explorer called Roald Amundsen beat him to it. Ernest still wanted to make a notable journey of exploration so he decided that he would lead an expedition across Antarctica. He carefully chose the twenty-eight men who would go with him and bought a new ship which he named the Endurance. Then at last the journey began.

The expedition ran into problems very early on. When the Endurance was still 1,000 miles from Antarctica the ship ran into pack ice. They forged ahead until they could no longer move. At first it seemed as if they would be able to wait until the pack ice broke up but then the ice began damage the ship and the explorers had to abandon their vessel. There was nothing to do but to try to get to one of the islands around Antarctica where they knew there were food stores and shelter. So off they went using their sled dogs to haul their supplies and manually dragging their three wooden boats across the ice.

At last, in April of 1916, the sea ice began to break up and the men were able to use the boats. The explorer’s troubles were not over however for they still had to get to a place where there were people who could help them.

This is the exciting story of one the most grueling journey’s ever made. Remarkably every single one of Shackleton’s men survived, which is a testament to Shackleton’s own determination that he would get all of men home safely. This account is written with an obvious appreciation for the significance of this achievement and it is presented in a graphic format which makes the story easy to follow and entertaining.