Maria Gill has a talent for bringing the stories of famous New Zealanders to life for young readers. Frank Worsley is probably a lesser-known NZ adventurer but his story of hardship and survival is remarkable. Frank captained the Endurance on Ernest Shackelton’s 1914 expedition to Antarctica. The ship was trapped and crushed in an ice floe and they had to abandon it and make their way in the most inhospitable environment in the world. Eventually boarding the small lifeboats they navigated their way through treacherous and freezing waters to find land. Against seemingly insurmountable odds the intrepid explorers made their way to Elephant Island but it didn’t end there…
This book tells a story of extreme hardship, of courage and tenacity. It took incredible courage and sound leadership to survive in this harshest of all environments but without Worsley’s navigational skill and accuracy they may have floated on the mercy of the sea to almost certain death.
Younger readers may be introduced to new nautical and topical vocabulary throughout the text. The illustrators colour palette and sweeping pictures compliment the text superbly.
Another enjoyable non-fiction read from Maria Gill.
Title: Ice Breaker! An Epic Antarctic Adventure
Illustrator: Alistair Hughes
Publisher: New Holland
Date of Publication: January 2020
Reviewer: Elaine Wills, Library manager, Enner Glynn School, Nelson
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence?. Frank Worsley woke up and rubbed his eyes.
You can buy this book here