Review: Shackleton’s Journey
Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill. 9781909263109. 2014. Gr. K-4
When I look out my window, I see snow and ice. I can almost feel the sub-zero temperatures that we’ve had here in Minnesota just looking out the window. It has been quite a winter here. What better time, I suppose, than in the midst of such a winter than to delve into a wintry adventure story. Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill is just such a book.
You may already know the story of Ernest Shackleton’s trip to Antarctica from Jennifer Armstrong’s book for teens Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World or Caroline Alexander’s adult book The Endurance, but kids may not be familiar with this heroic tale. William Grill’s well designed book is the perfect introduction for young readers to get a sense of the Endurance expedition. It all starts in 1914 when Ernest Shackleton and his crew set sail on the Endurance to explore Antarctica. The ship eventually gets trapped in ice, and the crew is forced to face the brutal conditions on the ice.
Grill seems to have a great sense of what kids want to know. He offers readers lots of visual details, including a page that illustrates an inventory of supplies aboard the ship. There is a lot of white space on every page that serves to create a feeling of isolation while the illustrations themselves emanate a warmth and charm that is undeniable. This book is a wonder to browse through. Kids who are interested in the subject will pore over the pages to glean every detail.
I finished this book with a keen appreciation for exploration into the unknown, and I expect many young readers will feel the same.