A cold and icy subject today – Sir Ernest Shackleton. I’m a bit of a polar exploration buff so I’ve always loved books and documentaries about Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott. I have a particular interest in Scott’s story. Roald Amundsen may have reached the South Pole first, but Scott’s story – including the fact that he lugged copies of Thomas Hardy’s novels with him – is far more romantic. While Amundsen was planning the most efficient way to reach his destination, Scott’s crew were collecting eggs from the Emporer Penguins.
When my son was young and I wanted to tell him about the age of polar exploration, I began with Shackleton’s story. Two years after Amundsen reached the South Pole, Shackleton embarked on a Trans-Antarctic expedition. His ship, the Endurance, was trapped by sea ice for ten months and the crew was forced to abandon ship. It is a thrilling and adventurous story and, unlike Scott’s story, this one has a happy ending.
Here are three books about Shackleton that are appropriate for a child ages 10 and over.
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong
Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Trapped by the Ice!: Shackleton’s Amazing Antarctic Adventure by Michael McCurdy