'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: Shackleton's Journey

In 1914, Ernest Shackleton set out to cross Antarctica from sea to sea, via the south pole. Known as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, this trip was an astonishing story of survival.

When the crew's ship, the Endurance, became stuck in pack ice, the crew disbanded and decided to wait out the winter on the sea ice. As they waited, the pressure from the ice crushed the ship to smithereens.

As the weather warmed, the sea ice began to melt and the men were faced with a new terror. with no ship, they had to source a new means of escape. Using life boats from the ship, they rowed to Elephant Island, a journey of 100 miles. After 16 long, frozen months, the men, frostbitten and exhausted, had solid land under their feet for the first time.
How these men survived this incredible odyssey is truly breathtaking - and William Grill has so beautifully captured the desperation, the fear, the resourcefulness and the hope that eventually saw the crew rescued in August 1916.

Telling this story with well-edited text and exquisite visual detail, Shackleton's Journey is rich with emotion, energy and beauty. I simply adore the balance of pages, from double-page landscapes of nothing more than a tiny ship in a vast sea of ice, to the fascinating minutiae of the expedition and its moving parts, from the provisions taken on board ship, to drawings of each individual man on the crew.

I love that this book takes young children on an astonishing journey they might never have otherwise been exposed to - and does it in such beautiful visual style.

Shackleton's Journey won the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal. The book has also won a slew of esteemed prizes including A New York Times Best Illustrated Book, Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book and USBBY Outstanding International Book.

Title: Shackleton's Journey
Author/Illustrator: William Grill
Publisher: Flying Eye Books, $48
Publication Date: 18 February 2014
Format: Hard cover, cloth bound
ISBN: 9781909263109
For ages: 7+
Type: Picture Book, Non-Fiction

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