Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Shipwreck at the bottom of the world : the…

Shipwreck at the bottom of the world : the extraordinary true story of… (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Jennifer Armstrong

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
456None22,795 (4.15)4
Title:Shipwreck at the bottom of the world : the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance
Authors:Jennifer Armstrong
Info:New York : Crown, c1998.
Collections:Your library
Tags:nonfiction, Ages 8 and up, 134 pages, 1998, Shackleton, adventure, Endurance, Antarctica, photojournalism

Work details

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong (1998)




Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
I intend to use this book as the core text while teaching the Antarctica unit in my World Geography class. I first read this last year. At the time, I had intended to include this text as a supplement to the curriculum. However after a second reading, I have decided to base the unit around this book. The author includes most of the required technical information in an engaging story of survival and human resilience. My students would enjoy the text while learning about physical geography, climate, and wildlife of Antarctica.

I thoroughly appreciate the remarkable story of courage and “Endurance.” The ship’s moniker was a chilling prediction of the adventure ahead. Shackleton’s expedition was an event that could incite horror or create heroes. He envisioned an expedition that would make his team the first to cross Antarctica. However, a series of unfortunate events leaves the crew stranded. Shackleton was able to keep his entire crew alive throughout the freezing and horrific ordeal.
I enjoyed the information about the physical conditions and temperatures in Antarctica. I was completely unaware of the whaling post on South Georgia Island. Also, the maps and photographs are a compliment to the book. Particularly, the photographs of the crew member with icicles on his face and the hut they built of boat hulls. ( )
  Jmoreeda | Apr 13, 2014 |
“Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World” is an informational and biographical account of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition on the ship “Endurance.” After the ship becomes trapped in ice and eventually destroyed, Shackleton and his crew spend nearly eighteen months surviving the impossible Antarctic climate, and manage to navigate themselves back north, through one harrowing event after another, in order to be rescued.

Simply put, this is one of the most amazing stories ever told. Time and time again, when the conditions look absolutely dire, Shackleton and his crew would find a way to endure -- only to be met with another unbelievable trial on the other side. This cycle continues throughout the entire book, yet somehow every man who was aboard the “Endurance” manages to survive.

From an ELA perspective, there are many themes at play in “Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World” that are worth examining -- courage, the human spirit, leadership, hope, desperation, and resiliency, to name a few. I envisioned teaching a lesson/unit on the book where students searched for explicit and implicit text examples of different crewmembers exemplifying these themes.

For example, I was in absolute awe of the fact that the photographer continued to document the journey the entire eighteen months, even in the most perilous of conditions. What an amazing example of the driving force of hope. I have to believe that he would not have continued to take photos if he thought they would never be rescued. I had the same feeling with the journal entries. Even when conditions were at their bleakest, the men continued to write. Now, here I am, 100 years later, examining these documents from the comfort of my warm apartment. There is something to be said about the journey of not only the men, but also their story. The crew's collective will to survive was unbelievable and worth having students examine from a literary perspective -- making inner-textual, cross-textual, and personal connections.

“Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World” also presents many opportunities for interdisciplinary connections. The author does a fantastic job describing the history, geography, and meteorology that was involved in the expedition. It would be interesting to have students engage with the book across multiple subjects. A history course could examine the significance of the timing of the expedition, leading into WWI; a geography course could map out the expedition, and study the Antarctic circle; and a science class could really immerse themselves into the meteorology and methods of navigation that the crew relied on while searching for rescue. It would be incredible to access a sextant and have the students chart their own path around the school.

I loved this book; it completely captured my imagination. I’ve already begun searching for other Shackleton biographies to add to my summer reading list. ( )
  JeffCarver | Apr 12, 2014 |
I think this book would make a really interesting companion to Jack London's "To Build a Fire." The short story was even published the same year of Shackleton's "furthest south" expedition in 1908! There are some very interesting parallels and contrasts in the stories that would work really well in a comparison of the two survival stories. I think it would be especially interesting to explore group survival versus personal survival. ( )
  Tables | Apr 10, 2014 |
I listened to the audio book version of this story and found it to be completely enjoyable. It was a little over three hours long listening time and the different characters were read by different people with different accents to be able to distinguish the dialogue. The narrator was clear and understandable. I had never listened to an audio book before this one and was pleasantly surprised. Though the listener did not get to see any pictures that may have been included in the book, the narrator did include the prologue and epilogue. The story was told in a very lifelike manner and was very engrossing. I would probably recommend reading the actual book, however, because I did miss out on any photographs and illustrations. The story was great, however, and I could feel myself getting anxiety at parts, particularly when Shackleton and his crew were going through the impossible. At times, I really didn't think they would make it. The author did a great job of describing the numerous physical ailments the men suffered, such as the boils and blisters caused by the salt water, constantly being wet, and the intense dehydration. This is a great story of endurance, teamwork, and strength that I think students in any class would benefit from. This would be great for a math class because it includes information about how the sailors calculated distance and location. It is also great for geography classes because it is the story of men who wanted to cross Antarctica, an uncharted area at that time. All in all, it is a great story, just not in audio book version. I recommend reading the physical book. ( )
  meblack19 | Apr 9, 2014 |
RGG: Amazing adventure story of courage, resiliience, loyalty, and honor. Compelling, informative, and a page-turner. F-P: Y.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Jim: I'd go to the ends of the earth for you.
First words
Just imagine yourself in the most hostile place on earth.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375810498, Paperback)

The harrowing survival story of English explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and the ill-fated Endurance has intrigued people since the 1914 expedition--spurring astounding books such as Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage and The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. As Shackleton and 27 sailors attempted to cross the frozen Antarctic continent from one side to the other, they were trapped in an ice pack, lost their ship to the icy depths, survived an Antarctic winter, escaped attacks from sea lions, and traversed 600 treacherous miles to the uninhabited Elephant Island. Leaving 22 men behind, Shackleton and five others sailed 800 miles across the southern Atlantic Ocean in a 20-foot open boat to tiny South George Island, where they hiked across unmapped mountains to a whaling station. In 1916, 19 months after the Endurance became icebound, Shackleton led a rescue party back to retrieve his men. Remarkably, every crew member survived.

Jennifer Armstrong, the award-winning author of Black-Eyed Susan and The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, brings the unbelievable journey to life with delicious details: how a handsome young stowaway was discovered too late to cast him off; how the ship itself would become frost-white, looking like "another species of sparkling white iceberg as it nosed its way through the pack;" and how the ice-pack-dwelling Emperor penguins seemed to enjoy the banjo music of crew member Leonard Hussey. The true-to-life story is as thrilling as they come, and Armstrong's lively, crystal-clear writing style is just as compelling. More than 40 photographs of the expedition populate this inspiring nonfiction adventure story that young readers will devour from cover to cover. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, their ship, Endurance, was finally crushed, forcing Shackleton and his men to make a very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
11 wanted
1 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.15)
1 1
2 2
3 19
3.5 9
4 53
4.5 10
5 47


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,414,424 books! | Top bar: Always visible