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The Impossible First: An Explorer's Race Across Antarctica (Young Readers Edition)



by
Colin O'Brady

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Imprint
Simon & Schuster BFYR
ISBN
9781534461987
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language
$16.80   $14.00
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In this Young Readers Edition of Impossible First—perfect for fans of My Shot by Elena Delle Donne and Shaken by Tim Tebow—Colin O’Brady vividly recounts his fifty-four-day, unsupported, record-shattering solo crossing of Antarctica using every ounce of his strength, years of training, and sheer force of will.

Prior to December 2018, no individual had ever crossed the unforgiving ice of Antarctica alone, unaided and unsupported. Only one day into what would be a 932-mile journey, O’Brady judged what he was trying to do was impossible.

Alone with his thoughts, O’Brady traveled back in his memory to the events that led him to this pivotal moment. For a while, it had seemed that nothing would stop him: He’d climbed every high mountain peak, bagged every endurance challenge (the Seven Summits, including Everest…record sprints to both Poles…the highest peaks in all fifty US states)—all after recovering from a freak burning accident that doctors said would end his athletic career. But the prize that had eluded him was success on this moment forbidding continent of all.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

304

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

B

AR

7.2: points 16

Lexile

1130L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Nov 2020

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Memoir

Topics

Colin O’Brady (1985– ). Antarctica. Adventure. Survival. Endurance. US athletes. Explorers. Sports and recreation. World records.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Author-illustrator Sirotich’s picture book is told in rhyming couplets and features five pairs of animals that enjoy spending time together. A short poem introduces an animal friendship and is followed by a brief explanation of how they became playmates. There are well-known pairs: Owen, a hippo calf, and his tortoise companion Mzee, as well as Koko the gorilla and her kittens. This title can serve as a guessing game for very young children; they can gather clues from the illustrations and the short prose descriptions to formulate their conclusion. For example, “My shell is my house. I’m a hundred or more! I like the calm, quiet hush of the forest floor” is the description of Mzee the tortoise. The illustrations, rendered in ink and digital color, depict appealing cartoon images of the smiling animals. The final narrative page features a tan-skinned girl with curly pigtails. A brief glossary defines words that could be new to young readers, such as forage, runt, and sanctuary. A source list and a “Read More About It!” section provide the opportunity for further research on the topic. VERDICT This informational title and its pleasant format will engage youngsters.–Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L., WI

School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-Professional triathlete and world-record breaker O'Brady has a legacy of being great at whatever feat he undertakes. This young readers' adaptation of his memoir is an example of his winning spirit. The compelling text chronicles O'Brady's quest to complete the daunting 932-mile solo trek across Antarctica. O'Brady provides insight into his psyche throughout his journey as well as the movies and rivalries that fuel him. Through flashbacks, readers are able to sketch a composite of the experiences and character traits that formed O'Brady's ambitious personality. Even against seemingly insurmountable odds-he sustained serious burn injuries while in Thailand in 2008 and doctors told him that he would never walk "normally" again-O'Brady finds a way to overcome. At the core of this narrative is a saga of perseverance and willpower that can only be accomplished through sheer might and the kind of vulnerable introspection that arises from two months of near solitude. Written in a relaxed, conversational tone, sometimes the memoir reads like a journal entry; other times the reading experience is like listening to the awe-inspiring tales of a good friend. VERDICT Recommended for school and public libraries serving middle to high schoolers and fans of man-versus-nature adventures.-Tamela Chambers, Chicago P.L.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Author-illustrator Sirotich’s picture book is told in rhyming couplets and features five pairs of animals that enjoy spending time together. A short poem introduces an animal friendship and is followed by a brief explanation of how they became playmates. There are well-known pairs: Owen, a hippo calf, and his tortoise companion Mzee, as well as Koko the gorilla and her kittens. This title can serve as a guessing game for very young children; they can gather clues from the illustrations and the short prose descriptions to formulate their conclusion. For example, “My shell is my house. I’m a hundred or more! I like the calm, quiet hush of the forest floor” is the description of Mzee the tortoise. The illustrations, rendered in ink and digital color, depict appealing cartoon images of the smiling animals. The final narrative page features a tan-skinned girl with curly pigtails. A brief glossary defines words that could be new to young readers, such as forage, runt, and sanctuary. A source list and a “Read More About It!” section provide the opportunity for further research on the topic. VERDICT This informational title and its pleasant format will engage youngsters.–Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L., WI

School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-Professional triathlete and world-record breaker O'Brady has a legacy of being great at whatever feat he undertakes. This young readers' adaptation of his memoir is an example of his winning spirit. The compelling text chronicles O'Brady's quest to complete the daunting 932-mile solo trek across Antarctica. O'Brady provides insight into his psyche throughout his journey as well as the movies and rivalries that fuel him. Through flashbacks, readers are able to sketch a composite of the experiences and character traits that formed O'Brady's ambitious personality. Even against seemingly insurmountable odds-he sustained serious burn injuries while in Thailand in 2008 and doctors told him that he would never walk "normally" again-O'Brady finds a way to overcome. At the core of this narrative is a saga of perseverance and willpower that can only be accomplished through sheer might and the kind of vulnerable introspection that arises from two months of near solitude. Written in a relaxed, conversational tone, sometimes the memoir reads like a journal entry; other times the reading experience is like listening to the awe-inspiring tales of a good friend. VERDICT Recommended for school and public libraries serving middle to high schoolers and fans of man-versus-nature adventures.-Tamela Chambers, Chicago P.L.

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Interests
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