Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book Review: Trapped in Ice! An Amazing True Whaling Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

Trapped in Ice! An Amazing True Whaling Adventure
by Martin W. Sandler
Non-Fiction, Historical, MG
176 pages
published: 2006
3 of 5 stars

I'm sure no one has heard of this book. It probably had little publicity. I found it in a book order, and since I'm always interested in survival and cool nonfiction (and hope to build a collection of books that my son wants to read) I ordered it sight unseen. I'm glad I did - I really enjoyed it. As for amazing polar survival - it's not anything compared to: Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: the extraordinary true story of Shakleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong (check that one out!)

BUT it was really cool. I liked better all the information about whaling - and the attitude with which it was presented. Most of my exposure to whaling has been negative, as in, "Those unconscionable beasts who killed all the whales just so women could look unnaturally skinny!" Well, it wasn't really like that, at least not until the end. They were doing a job that improved the lives of everyone, particularly with oil for light. They thought the ocean unfathomable and inexhaustible. The book portrays them as courageous, hard working, and highly skilled. How many of us seriously risk our lives everyday we go to work? It also talked of the exploring and charting work the whalers did. It told the story of some of the women and children that accompanies the whale ships.

For nonfiction YA, it was good - educational and entertaining.

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