The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Beth Krommes

In 1913, a boat called Karluk was carrying scientists, part of the Canadian Arctic... read more

In 1913, a boat called Karluk was carrying scientists, part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, up the coast of Alaska. Also on board was an Iñupiaq family. The mother, Qiruk, kept the crew in warm clothing with her skill at sewing sealskin coats, pants, and boots. The father, Kurraluk, hunted food for the group. Their two children were eight-year-old Pagnasuk and two-year-old Makpii. This exquisite book pairs Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s elegant, graceful prose and Beth Krommes stunning scratchboard illustrations in the dramatic true story of what happened to the travelers when the Karluk became stuck in an ice floe. The group was stranded in the middle of the Arctic’s frozen waters for more than a year. Abandoning the damaged ship (which later sank), they set up an encampment on the ice. The captain and others set off across the dangerous ice floe in search of rescue, while those who stayed behind relied on the skills and knowledge of the Iñupiaq family to survive. Exquisitely detailed, the prose and art provide an intimate look at this Iñupiaq family, their culture, and their traditions, in the context of an incredible survival story. Additional information provided in this 9 x 11” volume includes a complete list of the individuals on board the Karluk and three wonderful black-and-white photographs showing Qiruk, Kurraluk, Pagnasuk, and Makpii. Honor Book, CCBC Sibert Award Discussion (Ages 8–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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