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Ice Story: Shakleton's Lost Expedition
Ages 10 and up; Clarion; 1999

Winner of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 1999 Golden Kite Honor Book Award

The Story: Just a month and a half into Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 expedition to Antarctica, his ship, the Endurance, was caught fast in the heavy pack ice that surrounds the southern pole. Shackleton and his twenty-seven-man crew had no radio contact, and no one knew where they were or even that they were in trouble.

The series of disasters that followed constitutes an amazing adventure that by all accounts no man should have survived. It was only through the extraordinary leadership, courage, and strength of Shackleton that he and his men had any chance against unstable ice floes, treacherous waters, freezing temperatures, and starvation.

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel reveals her gift for storytelling in this tightly woven, suspenseful book about the true events that transpired on the ill-fated Endurance voyage. Archival black-and-white pictures taken and carefully preserved by the ship's photographer document the stark conditions and the activities of the crew throughout the expedition.

Inspiration: Growing up in Westchester, New York, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel did not find much in the way of sub-zero temperatures and blizzards to play in. In her imagination, however, each winter brought the frozen wasteland of Antarctica to her doorstep, and in her dreams she explored the icy peaks and glaciers surrounding the South Pole.

For years she collected and read books on explorers of both Antarctica and the Arctic, and came to view them as old friends. But the tale of one such explorer, Ernest Shackleton, was one to which she returned time and time again.

"Even now," Kimmel says, "knowing his story inside and out, I still have trouble believing it. The things that happened to him, and the things he did, simply defy belief. He certainly had the very worst luck and the very best luck of any man alive."


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• Learn more about Shackleton's journey at PBS and Antarctic Philately. Learn more about other Clarion books and authors.

• To inquire about a school visit, see Announcements & School Visits or e-mail Elizabeth.