Monday, February 11, 2019

MG Historical Nonfiction Review of Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance by Tod Olson

37825420Lost in the Antarctic:  The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance  by Tod Olson
Format:  Paperback
Publisher:  Scholastic Inc.
Number of pages: 224
Published:  January 1st, 2019
Source:  Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Lines:  " The ship didn't stand a chance, and Frank Hurley knew it.  He'd been in the engine room with the carpenter, trying desperately to keep the water out."

The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance is the fourth installment in Tod Olson's Lost series and tells the story of  Ernest Shackleton and his crew who set sail aboard the Endurance in October of 1914 on a voyage through the Weddell Sea to Vahsel Bay.  Once at Vahsel Bay, the men planned to take dog sleds to go another 800 miles overland to the South Pole, while another ship would scout ahead and drop supplies for the men to finish their trek.   Partway through their voyage, the Endurance became trapped in the ice requiring the crew to abandon ship taking nothing but the bare minimum in supplies, the dogsleds, and lifeboats.  This is the story of what happened to them next.  

I really loved the narrative style of Lost in the Antarctic, how it combined the facts and details of the voyage with excerpts from the crews own diaries and journals, as well as photos and illustrations.  There's even a detailed list of the sources in the back of the book.  As I began reading the story, I could only imagine all the challenges the crew would have to endure, especially as their progress was slowed and they had to carve out a path through the ice to even move the ship forward a few feet.   It's a very engrossing survival story that especially illustrates how treacherous Antarctica is.  There's a reason that very little has been explored.  How difficult it must have been to abandon their ship just as winter was approaching, knowing they would have months without daylight and their sources of food were quickly being depleted.  Always in the back of your mind is the thought of what perseverance these men must have had to endure such harsh conditions.  An excellent nonfiction story with just the right amount of historical details, and lighter moments of shared camaraderie where the crew is telling jokes, playing music, even pictures of the crew playing a game of soccer on the snow packed ice.   I'd recommend The Lost series for kids who enjoyed reading the I Survived series of books.   

 Just as I was finishing up my review, I learned that an expedition is getting closer at locating the wreck site of the Endurance How cool would that be if they could somehow recover the ship?  


  1. Loved the first lines. And the addition of the crews' diaries make this sound even more interesting. Awesome that they may find the wreck site.

  2. This sounds intriguing. I think I would have a lot to learn- as I don't know much about the history behind this. I can imagine this being a big hit with the kids I know who like the I Survived series. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. This is definitely a book I would have read when I was a kid.

    1. It's a fascinating story, especially now that they are getting closer to the Endurance.