In a Land of Ice and Snow

by Dianne White on January 8, 2012

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ICE FALL by Matthew Kirby (Scholastic Press, 2011)

Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes. For Solveig, adventure arrives unexpectedly. Accompanied by her siblings, she’s been sent by her father, the king, to a steading in the cold Nordic North. While they wait, believing that their father will defeat the enemy and call them to return home before the full force of winter arrives, things turn ominous for the children. A dreker, a dragon-headed ship of war, has moved up the near-frozen fjord carrying berserkers, animal-like warriors of the king. In the shadow of a glacier and with this uncomfortable company, the children must wait out the frigid winter.

The food dwindles, winter drags on, and a air of darkness descends on the steading. A traitor is in their midst and Solveig, who has begun to recognize her gift as a Skald, must grapple with this news and the dreams that have begun to haunt her in the middle of the night.

TRAPPED BY THE ICE by Michael McCurdy (Walker Children’s, 2002)

Imagine. It’s 1915, the end of October. Sir Earnest Shackleton’s main goal ten months earlier had been to become the first person to cross the South Pole’s ice cap. But now his ship, the Endurance is trapped. He and his men are stranded hundreds of miles from the nearest land and the Endurance is leaking badly.  The only hope for survival is to live on the ice.

This account of Shackleton and his crew’s trek across snow and ice, charging sea leopards, splitting ice floes, storm-tossed seas, and a final dangerous climb over treacherous mountains make this story of perseverance in the face of incredible hardship a book no fan of real-life adventure will want to miss.

SNOW DOGS: Racers of the North by Ian Whitelaw (DK Publishing, 2008)

Have you ever wondered what it must be like to travel over an Arctic landscape on a sled pulled by a team of huskies? Snow Dogs takes young readers behind the scenes and opens up the world of sleds, dog teams, mushers, competition, and survival in one of the coldest, most brutal climates in the world.


Dianne January 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I’m happy to pass along another terrific book recommended by reader, Carrie Pearson.

From Carrie: “I also, wanted to mention Riding the Runners, a self-pubbed book by an amazing woman I know, Jan Sabin. It is a photojourney of the annual UP 200 Sled Dog Race for people who want perspective on a non-Alaskan race.” Here’s the link:

Thanks, Carrie!

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