Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica
Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica

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Annotation: Equal parts adventure and STEM, Rebecca E. F. Barone's Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica is a thrill... more
Catalog Number: #293814
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 272
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-25780-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9839-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-25780-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9839-6
Dewey: 919
Language: English
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 48 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
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Analytical accounts of two historic firsts that bookend nearly a century of Antarctic exploration: reaching the South Pole and crossing the entire continent alone and on foot.That both outings turned into races adds almost superfluous drama: Neither Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott in 1911 nor Colin O’Brady and Lou Rudd in 2018 knew long beforehand that they would be in direct competition. All four expeditions faced the same deadly natural challenges, from frigid 50-mile-an-hour winds to whiteouts and treacherous ice ripples called sastrugi. But what really stands out in the storylines that Barone moves along in parallel are the huge differences in survival techniques and gear—even as the lack of wireless equipment, for instance, kills Scott and his companions, Rudd slogs along listening to audiobooks and O’Brady phones Paul Simon for a chat. The author points out other differences too, such as the contrast between Amundsen’s narrow motive to be first to the pole (the North Pole, originally, switched at the last moment after learning that Robert Peary had already gotten there) and Scott’s broader geological and scientific interests. She punctuates her narratives with maps, photos, and paired quotes from her four subjects, and she positively shovels endnotes and source references into the backmatter. The otherwise all-White, all male cast is relieved only by brief mentions of wives and latter-day women explorers and of Amundsen’s Netsilik Inuit advisers.A riveting tribute to epic tests of men against the elements. (index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This engaging account relates four of the most perilous feats of exploration ever attempted: the early twentieth-century race to the South Pole, which pitted Robert Scott of England against Norwegian Roald Amundsen, and the twenty-first-century contest between American Colin O'Brady and Louis Rudd of England to see who would be the first to achieve a solo crossing of Antarctica. Chapters seesaw back and forth, and while this may prove confusing at first, individual characters and specific survival strategies soon emerge. Readers will be caught up in the real-time action sequences and should end up rooting for everybody as these determined individuals face unimaginable physical and mental hardships. Almost every chapter ends on a cliff-hanger (sometimes literally), and quotes from diaries and interviews, archival photos, and plenty of maps help audiences keep track of all the action. Copious chapter notes and an extended bibliography make this a great research resource, and multiple STEM applications ather, geography, animals, navigation, nutrition, and just how much hardship the human body can stand d to the appeal. Readers will come away with increased appreciation for what conditions are like on the south end of our planet, and a profound respect for the individuals who dare to go there.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (12/1/20)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (12/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/21)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

Equal parts adventure and STEM, Rebecca E. F. Barone's Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica is a thrilling nonfiction book for young readers chronicling two treacherous, groundbreaking expeditions to the South Pole -- and includes eye-catching photos of the Antarctic landscape. Riveting I raced to the end of this book --Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee 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 unaided, unsupported 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 , this gripping account of two history-making moments of exploration and competition is perfect for budding scientists, survivalists, and thrill seekers. A nail-biting tale of adventure, tragedy, and superhuman determination--and also a luminous example of how our present lives are shaped by our immeasurably deep connection to our past. --Elizabeth Wein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity A huge treat for adventure story fans--not one, but two incredible races across the fearsome and fascinating Antarctic --Steve Sheinkin, New York Times bestselling author of Bomb and Undefeated

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