The year is 1911 and Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer and his team are the first to arrive at the South Pole, beating Robert Scott’s team by five weeks, but, ultimately at a cost. Amundsen’s Way, the race to the South Pole leads the reader on an exhilarating ride of deception, setbacks, adventure, tragedy and invites insight into the icy world of Antarctica and the cut throat world of exploration in the early 1900’s.
If you ‘Google’ who arrived at the South Pole first, Roald Amundsen’s name comes up, but that tells only part of the story. This book tasks you on the journey with Amundsen, you discover the team behind the man, for example the chef, Adolf Lindstrom who served up pancakes and turned Seals into nourishing meals to support the team. It gives insight to struggles to keep their dogs fed and in good condition while battling the weather conditions and the uncharted terrain where icy fissures are deadly, unwelcome surprises. The narrative is at times very raw and it’s hard to imagine the experiences and conditions that these explorers endured to secure their place in history.
Joanna Grochowicz’s extensive research that included trips to Oslo and Tasmania, access to unpublished expedition diaries of the explorers, adds richness to the story, although creative license has been used in this non-fiction narrative, it feels authentic.
Amundsen’s Way will be hard to put down for readers who love adventure interlaced with history.
Title: Amundsen’s Way
Author: Joanna Grochowicz
Illustrators: Sarah Lippett
Publisher: Allen &Unwin
ISBN: 978 1 76063 766 8
Date of publication: 2019
Reviewer's name: Louana McCormack
Reviewer's Job title: Librarian
Reviewer's School Name: Opaheke School
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Many years from now, the people of Hobart will tell how he strode up Murray Street, an imposing figure flanked by two fearsome sledge dogs.
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