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And Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Travel Adventures
selected by Deborah Stevenson
Ah, exploration and adventure--a lovely thing to watch from a safe distance. I've been greatly enjoying the Shackleton books that have come out recently, and they've formed the core of a list of titles that take the old "Voyages and travel" category to serious heights, depths, and distances. There have been a multitude of such travails in the world; this list focuses on nonfiction about those who tackled their various frontiers out of choice rather than necessity (so no Donner parties here) . Is it cold in here or is it me?
--Deborah Stevenson, Associate Editor
- Armstrong, Jennifer. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The True Story of the Endurance Expedition. Crown, 1998. illus. with photographs. Gr. 5-9.
The story of Shackleton's disaster-fraught and heroic Antarctic expedition of 1914-6 is one of the great survival stories of all time. (BCCB 2/99)
- Brown, Don. Alice Ramsey's Grand Adventure; written and illus. by Don Brown. Houghton, 1997. 5-8 yrs.
Youngsters who take a transcontinental drive for granted will have their eyes opened by this account of Ruth Law's pioneering 1909 cross-country drive. (BCCB 10/97)
- Burleigh, Robert. Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic; illus. by Walter Lyon Krudop. Atheneum, 1998. Gr. 2-4.
Byrd's six months alone and inland during the Antarctic winter of 1934 still stand high in the annals of exploration; excerpts from his diary are interspersed with description and enhanced by Krudop's visuals. (BCCB 2/98)
- Curlee, Lynn. Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration; written and illus. by Lynn Curlee. Houghton, 1998. Gr. 3-5.
This overview of Northern polar exploration takes a chronological look at the explorations, giving particular attention to the doomed Franklin expedition and the Cook and Peary rivalry. (BCCB 11/99)
- Jenkins, Steve. The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest; written and illus. by Steve Jenkins. Houghton, 1999. Gr. 3-6.
Jenkins' evocatively textured cut-paper collage adds atmosphere to this you-are-there description of a climb up the big one. (BCCB 4/99)
- Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition. Clarion, 1999. illus. with photographs. Gr. 5-9
Another in the new Shackleton stable, this gives a somewhat broader picture than the Armstrong and offers a different slew of memorable photographs. (BCCB 2/99)
- Kostyal, K. M. Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton. National Geographic, 1999. illus. with photographs. Gr. 4-8.
The most visual (blue-tinted Antarctic spreads are breathtaking) and accessible of the three middle-grades Shackleton titles, this brings the icy vastness right into the living room. (BCCB 12/99)
- Kramer, S. A. To the Top!: Climbing the World's Highest Mountain; illus. by Thomas La Padula and with photographs. Random House, 1993. Gr. 3-5.
This easy reader tells the story of Hillary and Tenzing's Everest ascent in big print and simple present-tense narration without losing the drama of the climb. (BCCB 6/93)
- Lourie, Peter. Lost Treasure of the Inca; written and illus. with photographs by Peter Lourie. Boyds Mills, 1999. Gr. 3-6.
Armed with an ancient guide to lost treasure, author Lourie travels through the Andes in search of a misplaced Incan king's ransom; breathtaking photographs of the volcanic peaks add atmosphere. (BCCB 11/99)
- McCurdy, Michael. Trapped by the Ice!: Shackleton's Amazing Antarctic Adventure; written and illus. by Michael McCurdy. Walker, 1997. Gr. 3-7.
The harbinger of the recent spate of Shackletoniana and the most accessible to young readers, McCurdy's pared-down account of the adventure compels and his pastel-touched artwork adds an otherwordly shimmer. (BCCB 9/97)
- Pfetzer, Mark. Within Reach: My Everest Story; by Mark Pfetzer and Jack Galvin. Dutton, 1998. illus. with photographs. Gr. 7-12.
The wunderkind of mountain climbing, teen Pfetzer tells of climbing in the Andes and Nepal, including two attempts on Everest. (BCCB 1/99)
- Provensen, Alice and Martin. The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Blériot; written and illus. by Alice and Martin Provensen. Viking, 1983. Gr. K-3.
You can't go wrong with this classic, visually stunning tale of Blériot's long struggle and successful landmark flight. (BCCB 1/84)
- Van Meter, Vicki. Taking Flight: My Story; by Vicki Van Meter with Dan Gutman. illus. with photographs. Gr. 4-7.
It may not be Antarctic, but Van Meter's life as a ten-year-old pilot, including a transatlantic flight, is an engaging contemporary adventure. (BCCB 11/95)
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