Sally M. Walker’s new young adult book, Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed is sure to send shivers through its readers. Cutting edge science and spectacular photographs mixed with adventure and extreme hardships, it is a winning combination.
Antarctica is not for the timid. The narration starts with the ill-fated journey of Robert Falcon Scott, who undertook an arduous trek across Antarctica only to find he missed being the first person to the South pole by 35 days. On the way back he and his team perished. Tragically, they were only 11 miles from a supply depot when they collapsed. This glimpse of history sets the stage for the hardships modern day explorers face in this land of extreme cold.
Like an explorer herself, Walker uncovers and discloses may aspects of the leading edge scientific research that is being carried out in Antarctica, from biologists and geologists to paleobotanists. Giant lakes under the ice? Dinosaur fossils in Antarctica? Who knew?
The photographs and illustrations are also spectacular. From actual photographs of Scott’s expedition as it set off (how did they get those?), to seals with sensors attached, to the amazing scenes of Antarctica’s snow and ice-covered splendor, you almost get the feel of a coffee table book. The text makes it much more than that, however.
In case you were wondering, Frozen Secrets is indeed a young adult book. From the story of tragedy at the beginning to photographs of frozen and decaying dead dogs, both the level of the text and the subject matter are belong solidly to the young adult category.
Sally Walker’s book Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley (reviewed here) won the Sibert. Her Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland was a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. It is a given that this book will be in contention for top awards as well. Pick up a copy when it comes out and you’ll see why.
Reading level: Young Adult
Library Binding: 104 pages
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (October 1, 2010)
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This book was provided for review.