Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Andrea White, Author . HarperCollins/Eos $15.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-055454-5

Politics and pop culture collide in White's provocative debut novel, a dystopian view of America in which 14-year-olds must win a game of chance called "Toss" in order to continue their education, and environmental disasters and overpopulation have scarred the country. The Department of Entertainment controls all television, with the goal of attaining 100% viewership—the resulting complacency keeps down the nation's crime rate. Stephen Michael, now 17, lost his Toss, but he has managed to land a job editing the latest incarnation of the popular Historical Survivor series (a reality show), in which five 14-year-olds will retrace the steps of Robert F. Scott's failed 1912 expedition to reach the South Pole. Robert, Billy, Polly, Andrew and Grace are chosen for their specific abilities: Polly for her photographic memory, for instance, and Andrew for his tolerance of the cold. Thanks to his position, Stephen is able to communicate with Andrew and tries to help the children on their trek (the Secretary of Entertainment has planned several "calamities" to make for better TV). White paints a vision of a government-driven, TV-obsessed future that hits close to home, and also interweaves facts about Scott's mission from primary sources (through Polly's research). This page-turning adventure may well pry a few of today's couch potatoes away from the TV. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-206953-5
Library Binding - 327 pages - 978-0-06-055455-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 438 pages - 978-0-06-055456-9
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