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Review of ANTARCTICA by Walter Dean Myers

by Andrea L. Williams

Myers, Walter Dean. 2004. ANTARCTICA: JOURNEYS TO THE SOUTH POLE. New York: Scholastic Press. ISBN 0439220017

After reading ANTARCTICA the lengths to which men will go to explore geographic wildernesses becomes apparent. Antarctica is in part a history of the exploration of a foreboding place and what drives men to explore. Myers begins with his remembrance of himself as a young sailor traveling all the way to a base within the Arctic Circle. The first explorer described is James Cole in the 18th century and the book ends with post World War II explorations. Throughout this work is one page or less subject summarizations which cover subjects relevant to survival in the Arctic. Examples include scurvy, latitude and longitude among others. One of the most interesting chapters concerns a bullying naval officer named Charles Weeks.

Myers story telling ability is most interesting when the human beings portrayed appear to be warts and all vs. a relatively dry recitation of linear events. Concluding sections are a timeline from 1773 to 1959 and a bibliography of sources used in the writing of this book. An index ends this work. While this work may not appeal to a wide audience, those readers curious about why physical danger appeals to some people throughout various times may find this book interesting.


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