many many animals were harmed in the writing of this story. and “good” animals, too, not just the necessary “starving in antarctica” ones that you have to kill for survival. there are awful penguin-clubbing sequences, some euthanasia of dogs and a cat, and lots of seals make their way into seal heaven. there is also one awesome amputation scene. disney will never option this story. there are very few places to insert singing mice (twss) but it is a true account of a young boy who stowed away on shackleton’s ill-fated antarctic exploration, and details the cold, starvation, seasickness, and madness in very real and graphic terms.
so take everything i said about everest and double it. if everest hates you, antarctica hates your whole family past, present, and future. antarctica is having a fine time just floating in the cold icebergy, seal-filled water and resents it when humans decide to drop by unannounced. and like that one time those roaches tried to live in my cupboards—all shall be destroyed.
but i loved this book. i love survival stuff, to be sure, but particularly cold-weather survival. having read this, The Terror, Brian’s Winter, Peak, Into Thin Air, and Aurororama all within the past year—i will not be making any arctic voyages anytime soon, thank you. but i will read about it all cozy in my slanket. and now i really want to read Endurance.
but i still have some teen fiction on the syllabus to endure (yuk yuk chortle) first.