Three for Thursday

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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


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