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Shackleton's Stowaway Hardcover – 8 Feb 2005


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Hardcover, 8 Feb 2005
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Children's Books; New title edition (8 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375826912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375826917
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,132,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Story.... 23 Dec 2005
By Michael J. Ortiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Shackleton's Stowaway" is a fabulous piece of historical fiction. Well-researched, the characters come alive in this compelling story of survival, hope, and courage. The writing is excellent, and the story a real attention-getter for children. The virtues of another time come to life under McKernan's creative crafting of an unforgettable story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Shackelton's Stowaway is an awesome book! 19 Nov 2009
By Wubzy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Shackelton's Stowaway is a very entertaining book. It tells you a lot about history and is full of adventure. We read it for literature circles (six of us), and thought it was amazing! We can't wait to read it again and again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brrrr!! 15 Aug 2011
By Heidi Grange - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a fictionalized version of Shackleton's and his crew's year and a half ordeal near Antarctica (they never actually landed on the continent itself). The author does a great job giving the reader a feel for what it may have been like to be there. At the end of the book she explains why she presented things the way she did. A great survival story that shows that no matter how powerful we humans think we are, mother nature is more powerful.
Fight For Survival! 12 July 2010
By Willow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever feel adventurous? That's how eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborow felt one day in 1914. This book for middle school readers, a true life adventure turned into a novel, tells his story. Perce was stranded in Buenos Aires by a shipwreck when he heard that famous explorer Ernest Shackleton was setting sail for Antarctica in a ship called the Endurance. Perce applied for a job as a sailor but was turned down, so instead he stowed away aboard the ship. He was discovered after a few days and Shackleton let him join the crew. Perce learned to work the sails, helped the cook in the galley, and gave a hand with the sixty-nine sled dogs.

Shackleton's plan was to cross Antarctica with dogsleds, but they never reached land. Instead, their adventure turned into a two-year battle for survival. As the ship neared the frozen continent, it made slow progress through the "ice pack," giant ice floes with very little space between them. Then the sea simply froze solid, and the Endurance was stuck for months. When the ice pack thawed and the floes started moving, their danger greatly increased. Soon the ship was crushed between two floes and had to be abandoned.

They survived a harrowing journey in lifeboats across the icy sea, finally arriving at a small, rocky island. Their food supplies nearly gone, they survived on whatever seals and penguins they could find. Shackleton and a few other men set out in one of the lifeboats for another island 800 miles away where they hoped to get help. Now everyone needed the endurance that had been the name of their ship.

The author, Victoria McKernan, turned this true story into a novel after careful research into the diaries of the ship's crew and books about the expedition. She shares the details of the ordeal, like the taste of seal meat, Perce's encounter with a killer whale, and the agonizing pain of his frost-bitten toes. I felt as though I too was stranded in this frozen wasteland, and it made me wonder if I would have found the courage and stamina to survive.
Not just for teens! 4 July 2007
By Nina M. Osier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1914, 18-year-old Welshman Perce Blackborow and his American shipmate Billy Bakewell find themselves stranded in Buenos Aires after losing their berths to a shipwreck. Famed British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance is in port, and needs replacements for two drunken crewmen. Billy gets hired because of his already rare (even this close to the golden age of sail) experience with sailing vessels; but Perce, who has nothing to offer except youth, strength, and willingness to work hard, only manages to join the expedition by hiding in another sailor's footlocker until the ship is too far at sea for Shackleton to do anything except put the stowaway to work. The great man, whom Perce holds in awe, warns the youngster that in times of desperation stowaways are always eaten first!

So begins Victoria McKernan's novel based on the real Perce Blackborow, who did everything ascribed to him in her book except keep a journal. She takes the carefully researched facts of this adventure (chronicled by Shackleton himself in South) and writes them from the viewpoints of the men involved, and the result enthralled me. This is listed as a novel for teens, but I found it well worth an adult reader's time. I especially appreciated the author's notes at the book's end, in which she identified the few points at which she took liberties with known facts (mostly a matter of tweaking the time line to give her story a smoother flow). Hopefully many readers in her intended audience will go on to read South, and wind up - like me - hooked on such books for life.
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