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Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica



by
Rebecca E.F. Barone

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
ISBN
9781250257802
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Social Issue: Harsh Realities of Life
$21.42   $17.85
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Equal parts adventure & STEM, this thrilling middle-grade nonfiction book chronicles two groundbreaking voyages to the South Pole.

In 1910, Captain Robert Scott prepared his crew for a trip that no one had ever completed: a journey to the South Pole. He vowed to get there any way he could, even if it meant looking death in the eye. Then, not long before he set out, another intrepid explorer, Roald Amundsen, set his sights on the same goal. Suddenly two teams were vying to be the first to make history—what was to be an expedition had become a perilous race.

In 2018, Captain Louis Rudd readied himself for a similarly grueling task: the first solo crossing of treacherous Antarctica. But little did he know that athlete Colin O’Brady was training for the same trek—and he was determined to beat Louis to the finish line. For fans of Michael Tougias’ The Finest Hours and Deborah Heiligman’s Torpedoed, this gripping account of two history-making moments of exploration and competition is perfect for budding scientists, survivalists, and thrill seekers.Maps. Bibliography. Endnotes. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Social Issue: Harsh Realities of Life

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

272

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Dewey

919.89

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Apr 2021

Book Genres

Narrative Nonfiction

Topics

Robert Falcon Scott (1868–1912). Roald Amundsen (1872–1928). Lou Rudd. Colin O’Brady. Travel. Antarctica. Explorers. Discovery and exploration. South Pole. Competition.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–In 1911, teams led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and English naval officer Robert Falcon Scott raced one another to be first to the South Pole. More than a century later, American endurance athlete Colin O’Brady and another Englishman, army officer Louis Rudd, scrambled for the honor of finishing the first solo traverse of the Antarctic continent, unsupported and unassisted. In alternating chapters, engineer and STEM advocate Barone traces each of the campaigns, examining the personalities, training and preparation, often brutal challenges, and successes and failures of the men. Facing total whiteout conditions and temperatures sometimes exceeding -50 degrees Fahrenheit, all of the explorers confronted the limits of endurance, with Scott and two surviving colleagues ultimately succumbing to cold and starvation on the slog back from the pole, only 11 miles from a resupply depot. Blocks of text are unbroken except by embedded illustrations and the layout is plain, without any offsets or sidebar texts, making the book more appropriate for stronger readers. Plentiful photos vividly illustrate the striking polar desert terrain, as well as showcase the explorers and some of the gear required for enduring such an extreme climate. The volume concludes with a 10-page bibliography, including numerous books, articles, and websites, and more than 300 endnotes with source references. VERDICT A compelling narrative focused on science and technology, embedded in a cluster of thrilling adventure stories, this will be an easy sell for middle schoolers and many older ­elementary students. Highly ­recommended.–Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson M.S., Falls Church, VA

Horn Book

"At the bottom of the world, death comes more naturally than life." Barone presents four expeditions - two races - to face down death in the coldest region on earth. In 1911, Caption Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen competed to be the first to reach the South Pole. In 2018, Lou Rudd and Colin O'Braidy raced to be the "first solo, unaided, unsupported crossing of Antarctica" (as Rudd said: "More people have walked on the moon [twenty] than have traversed Antarctica"). Different people, different times, common deadly obstacles: cold, bilzzards, whiteouts, crevasses, mountains, starvation. Barone's complex narrative is well structured, with action verbs and frequent short, rhythmic sentences ("He was strong. He was capable. He kept moving") leading the way. Though Barone repeats information occasionally, (e.g., the renaming of the Ross Ice Shelf), meticulous details of trip-planning never slow the pace, and, as in any great adventure tale, foreshadowing, cliffhangers, and dabs of gory details ("Two of the men were so frostbitten that their entire heels fell off -- dead and rotting -- in their boots") are used to good advantage. Maps, black-and-white photographs, personal accounts, and Instagram photos support the lively text. An epilogue explores the controversies over both expeditions, including whether or not the 2018 race could really bec alled "unaided and unsupported." Back matter includes a substantial bibliography, endnotes, and an index (unseen). DEAN SCHNEIDER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–In 1911, teams led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and English naval officer Robert Falcon Scott raced one another to be first to the South Pole. More than a century later, American endurance athlete Colin O’Brady and another Englishman, army officer Louis Rudd, scrambled for the honor of finishing the first solo traverse of the Antarctic continent, unsupported and unassisted. In alternating chapters, engineer and STEM advocate Barone traces each of the campaigns, examining the personalities, training and preparation, often brutal challenges, and successes and failures of the men. Facing total whiteout conditions and temperatures sometimes exceeding -50 degrees Fahrenheit, all of the explorers confronted the limits of endurance, with Scott and two surviving colleagues ultimately succumbing to cold and starvation on the slog back from the pole, only 11 miles from a resupply depot. Blocks of text are unbroken except by embedded illustrations and the layout is plain, without any offsets or sidebar texts, making the book more appropriate for stronger readers. Plentiful photos vividly illustrate the striking polar desert terrain, as well as showcase the explorers and some of the gear required for enduring such an extreme climate. The volume concludes with a 10-page bibliography, including numerous books, articles, and websites, and more than 300 endnotes with source references. VERDICT A compelling narrative focused on science and technology, embedded in a cluster of thrilling adventure stories, this will be an easy sell for middle schoolers and many older ­elementary students. Highly ­recommended.–Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson M.S., Falls Church, VA

Horn Book

"At the bottom of the world, death comes more naturally than life." Barone presents four expeditions - two races - to face down death in the coldest region on earth. In 1911, Caption Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen competed to be the first to reach the South Pole. In 2018, Lou Rudd and Colin O'Braidy raced to be the "first solo, unaided, unsupported crossing of Antarctica" (as Rudd said: "More people have walked on the moon [twenty] than have traversed Antarctica"). Different people, different times, common deadly obstacles: cold, bilzzards, whiteouts, crevasses, mountains, starvation. Barone's complex narrative is well structured, with action verbs and frequent short, rhythmic sentences ("He was strong. He was capable. He kept moving") leading the way. Though Barone repeats information occasionally, (e.g., the renaming of the Ross Ice Shelf), meticulous details of trip-planning never slow the pace, and, as in any great adventure tale, foreshadowing, cliffhangers, and dabs of gory details ("Two of the men were so frostbitten that their entire heels fell off -- dead and rotting -- in their boots") are used to good advantage. Maps, black-and-white photographs, personal accounts, and Instagram photos support the lively text. An epilogue explores the controversies over both expeditions, including whether or not the 2018 race could really bec alled "unaided and unsupported." Back matter includes a substantial bibliography, endnotes, and an index (unseen). DEAN SCHNEIDER

Grades 5-8
High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Nonfiction topics and approaches that will attract reluctant and avid readers alike.

14 books per Year
$249.90 per Year
Interests
Clean Books,Biographies,History,Nonfiction,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Science/STEAM
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Grades 5-8
High-Interest Nonfiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$249.90 per Year

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