Cover image for Ice story : Shackleton's lost expedition
Ice story : Shackleton's lost expedition
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
120 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition, when the ship the Endurance was crushed in a frozen sea and the men made the perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.
Reading Level:
1130 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.8 4.0 30831.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.6 7 Quiz: 14312 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G850 1914.S53 K56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
G850 1914.S53 K56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
G850 1914.S53 K56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This dramatic, suspenseful narrative reads like an adventure story-but it is true. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and a twenty-seven-man crew set off on an expedition to reach and cross Antarctica. Just a month and a half into the voyage, their ship, the Endurance, was caught fast in heavy pack ice. The men had no radio contact, and no one knew where they were or even that they were in trouble. None of them should have survived the ordeal that followed-unstable ice floes, treacherous waters, freezing temperatures, and starvation. Only the extraordinary leadership, courage, and strength of Shackleton brought the whole team safely through. Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's clear, compelling text is illustrated with photographs, taken and carefully preserved by the ship's photographer, that record the stark condition and the day-to-day activities of the men. Hand-drawn maps that show the extraordinary route of the Endurance and her crew. Bibliography, index.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel lives in Cold Spring, New York, with her husband and young daughter.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Unlike Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (1998), which contains many diary quotes, this relies almost solely on straight narrative to tell the story of Shackleton's Imperial Transatlantic Expedition, the famed explorer's final visit to Antarctica. But even though this lacks some of the visceral drama of Shipwreck, Kimmel does a fine job of compensating by presenting an exceptionally clear explanation of the scientific underpinnings and the sequence of events that made up one of history's great survival stories. Most of the important background is here, along with maps and some of Frank Hurley's extraordinary expedition photos. The lucid overview is likely to encourage readers to pursue other books on the subject--perhaps some of the adult ones Kimmel includes in her bibliography. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kimmel's compelling account presents the arresting tale of Sir Ernest Shackleton's doomed 1914 expedition to traverse the continent of Antarctica, for a slightly younger audience than Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (Children's Forecasts, Jan. 25). Kimmel's chronicle contains considerably fewer anecdotes and journal excerpts than Armstrong's denser volume, yet the events of the shipwreck of the Endurance, the men's encampment on an ice pack and Shackleton's trek across South Georgia on foot, resulting in the survival of all 27 of his crew, are just as gripping here. Kimmel delves somewhat more deeply into Shackleton's personal life, fashioning a credible and affectionate portrait of this indefatigable explorer. The volume's relatively short chapters and strategic arrangement of photographs to break up blocks of text will make for smooth reading for kids on the younger edge of the intended audience. A deftly distilled recounting of an extraordinary story. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Having been beaten in his quest to be the first man to stand on the South Pole, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off in 1914 to cross the continent of Antarctica. He ultimately failed, but the saga of his attempt, in which his ship was frozen in ice and sunk, and yet no human lives were lost, makes a thrilling and terrifying tale. Utilizing Shackleton's memoirs and original expedition photographs, Kimmel re-creates events in exciting detail. She puts the story in historical perspective by comparing the exploration of Antarctica to the exploration of space, which plays a part in making this an accessible but not oversimplified account. After presenting a brief background about Antarctic explorers and introducing several of the primary members of the crew, the author then describes how the 28 men survived months of frostbite, penguin stew, and boredom, while hoping for rescue. Shackleton is depicted as a brave and responsible leader whose first concern was always the welfare of his men, yet who still had his own weaknesses. There has been a surge of information about this expedition lately, and this is a worthy addition to the group. Readers will cheer the endurance and ultimate survival of these adventurers while learning about history.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.