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The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure

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9781491501702: The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure
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Whaling in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast was as dangerous as it was lucrative in 1897. In that particular year, winter came early, bringing with it storms and ice packs that caught eight American whale ships and about three hundred sailors off guard. The ships were imprisoned in ice with no hope of escape. With limited provisions on board the ships that hadn’t been crushed by the ice, there was little hope that these men could survive until warmer temperatures arrived at least ten months later.

Martin Sandler tells the incredible true adventure story of three men who were ordered by President McKinley to carry out an overland rescue that covered 1,500 miles of treacherous Alaskan terrain in the dead of winter. Their mission was to drive two herds of reindeer the distance to feed the starving men. With their own survival in the balance, these men battled raging storms, killing cold, injured sled dogs, and their own will to continue to bring relief to the stranded whale men. Entries from the journals of two of the rescuers and photographs taken by the third key member of the unlikely expedition dramatically document every mile of their heroic, unprecedented journey.

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About the Author:
Martin W. Sandler has written more than seventy books for children and adults and has written and produced seven television series. He has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has won multiple Emmy Awards. He lives in Massachusetts.
From School Library Journal:
Gr 5 Up-Endurance. Fortitude. Bravery. Any of these words could easily describe the people involved in this amazing, but little-known rescue-adventure. The year was 1897 and whaling was big business in America. Whaleship captains hunting in the Arctic Circle, pushing for more whales and the profits they meant, ended up stranded by the ice pack, affecting eight ships and their crews. One ship managed to escape the danger and alert the U.S. government to the predicament, thus setting in motion a nearly "impossible rescue." A few daring men with the experience and willingness to tackle such a mission quickly gathered their supplies and courage and headed north to bring food in the form of herded reindeer and help to some 300 sailors stuck in the Arctic winter. Using extensive primary sources in the form of journals, reports, letters, and photographs, Sandler has pieced together a stirring and evocative retelling of this historical adventure. The writing draws readers into both the suspense of reaching the struggling whalers in time as well as the dire, life-threatening conditions that the rescuers themselves faced. Archival black-and-white photographs taken during the journey help pull the whole story together and prove an excellent visual accompaniment to the unfolding drama. An epilogue answers many of the "what happened after..." questions, and extensive source notes round out the back matter. For readers who prefer their drama to be true, suggest this title along with Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (Crown, 1998), Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air (Villard, 1997), and Dolores Johnson's Onward: a Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson (National Geographic, 2005).-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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9780763670931: The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure

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