Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13

by Richard Farr

When Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard was twenty-three years old, he was chosen... read more

When Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard was twenty-three years old, he was chosen from a pool of 8,000 applicants to accompany a small band of men led by Robert F. Scott on an expedition to the Antarctic. Wealthy, Oxford-educated Cherry, as he was called, possessed no special skill or ability to make him an outstanding candidate, but over the next three years this youngest member of the team not only proved capable of enduring extreme conditions but also contributed substantially to the group’s accomplishments and survival. Extensive research provides a solid factual backdrop for Richard Farr’s fictionalized account of the journey from Cherry’s imagined perspective. Named Assistant Zoologist, Cherry and two other men spent a month trekking from Cape Evans camp to the winter nesting area of the emperor penguins in an effort to collect unhatched eggs for study. Vivid descriptions of temperatures dipping below minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit and of Force 11 winds draw readers into the Antarctic landscape of Cherry’s experience. Later, he is a member of the group that supports Scott’s attempt to reach the Pole but is not selected as one of five men to make the last, fatal push. Numerous photographs and illustrations complement this thoroughly engaging novel of exploration, which includes a clear chronology and source notes. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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