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

Martin W. Sandler, Author
Martin W. Sandler. Candlewick, $22.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5080-3
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In 1897, winter arrived early in the Arctic Ocean—disastrously early for the crews of eight San Francisco–based whaling ships locked in ice off the northwestern coast of Alaska. President McKinley issued an order to launch an expedition to rescue the 265 stranded whalers, which Sandler (the Through the Lens series) chronicles in scrupulous and riveting detail. When heavy ice prevented Bear, the Revenue Cutter Service ship assigned to the mission, to reach a port close to the distressed ships, its captain dropped three crew members at an accessible harbor to the south to make the nearly 2,000-mile overland trek to bring the whalers food and other provisions to keep them alive until Bear could reach them. Sandler's vivid account is laced with journal entries and illustrated by informative maps and often breathtaking b&w photographs of the rescuers, the indigenous Alaskans who aided them, the frozen Arctic wilderness, and the distressed whaling ships; many photos were taken by one of the expedition's leaders. Crisply designed with plentiful white space, this book shares a thrilling and inspirational story of determination, perseverance, and bravery. Ages 10–14. (Sept.)
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