Into the White: Scott’s Antarc­tic Odyssey

Joanna Gro­chow­icz

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Comics & Graphic Novels / Juvenile Fiction - CATHER­INE THURESON

Allen & Un­win (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $12.99 (288pp) 978-1-76029-365-9

Into the White is a thought­ful and sat­is­fy­ing ac­count of the the Terra Nova ex­pe­di­tion to the South Pole.

Into the White tells the har­row­ing and tragic tale of Robert Fal­con Scott’s Terra Nova ex­pe­di­tion to Antarc­tica. The book brings the deadly ad­ven­ture to life, shar­ing de­tails of the strug­gles that these ex­plor­ers faced as they fought to com­plete their jour­ney.

In June of 1910, sixty-five men set sail from Wales aboard the Terra Nova. Their team was full of hard­work­ing, ca­pa­ble men, if few had faced the hard­ships like those they were about to en­counter. Only five would ul­ti­mately at­tempt to reach the South Pole. Into the White fol­lows their path, re­lat­ing the con­di­tions and the de­ci­sions that, in ret­ro­spect, ul­ti­mately led to their fail­ure.

The book is ac­ces­si­ble to a wide au­di­ence. Its historical events are su­perbly re­counted, and the won­der and beauty of the Arc­tic is well re­layed. So too are the re­al­i­ties of the in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment, where tem­per­a­tures dipped as low as neg­a­tive fifty de­grees Cel­sius.

De­tails—such as of a case of frost­bite with fluid-filled blis­ters that froze solid—il­lus­trate great suf­fer­ing. The dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions that had to be made—like killing horses for food—show the ex­tremes that ex­plor­ers had to go to in their quest to sur­vive. The story for­mat will be par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing to young-adult au­di­ences; it evades the dry, straight­for­ward pre­sen­ta­tions in much of nonfiction.

Amaz­ing pho­to­graphs from the ex­pe­di­tion are very use­ful in driv­ing home the re­minder that, though this is pre­sented as a story, it is not a fic­tional ac­count. Three ap­pen­dices, de­scrib­ing the Amund­sen ex­pe­di­tion that beat Scott’s team to the South Pole, Scott’s ear­lier Dis­cov­ery ex­pe­di­tion, and the Shack­le­ton ex­pe­di­tion, fin­ish this fas­ci­nat­ing book, along with a brief glos­sary and a short but use­ful bib­li­og­ra­phy.

Into the White is a thought­ful ac­count of the Terra Nova ex­pe­di­tion. Any­one want­ing to learn more about the brave souls who first jour­neyed through the bar­ren land­scape of the South Pole will find it very sat­is­fy­ing.

De­tails—such as of a case of frost­bite with fluid-filled blis­ters that froze solid— il­lus­trate the ex­plor­ers’ great suf­fer­ing. The dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions that they had to make show the ex­tremes that ex­plor­ers go to in their quest to sur­vive. Amaz­ing pho­to­graphs from the ex­pe­di­tion are use­ful in driv­ing these points home.

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