Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance
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Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,614 ratings  ·  543 reviews
The harrowing story of the ill-fated Endurance, now in paperback.

In August 1914, Ernest Shackleton and 27 men sailed from England in an attempt to become the first team of explorers to cross Antarctica from one side to the other. Five months later and still 100 miles from land, their ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. The expedition survived another five months campin...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Crown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1989)
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Kristie
Apr 11, 2008 Kristie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Angela
Recommended to Kristie by: Chris Crowe
Shelves: ya
I noticed one of my friends is planning to read this same story, but by a different author. The story is amazing. I like this particular version because it is written toward young adults and the author, Jennifer Armstrong, has invested years of research to produce her account of this historical event. The first page is amazing and there is an entire chapter on ice...I never knew ice could be so compelling! When you think about it, this story is truly inspiring. 27 men attempt to explore the Anta...more
Chris
I'm writing this from the second floor of a Victorian rowhouse on Palace Court, a street just around the corner from Kensington Gardens in London. This building, this very flat, was once the residence of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the hero of this remarkable story. Across Kensington Gardens sits the Royal Geographical Society, and on the east side of the building's exterior is a statue of Shackelton. How cool is that?

I've read this book many times because it's a standard in my YA literature courses....more
Pete daPixie
Jennifer Armstrong's 'Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World:The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance' is read cover to cover in just a few hours. Even so, in just one hundred and twenty six pages it is cram packed tight to contain what has to be the most incredible story of human exploration, fortitude and survival that it is possible to come across.
It is just not possible for a fiction writer to match this true life epic. How on earth Shackleton and his twenty seven man exped...more
Ashley
Summary: This was a fantastic informational book about a man named Ernest Shackerson and twenty seven men that sailed from England to Antartica in 1914. These men wanted to be the first men to sail to cross Antartica from one side to the other. Five months into the journey, the men were one hundred miles from land. Their boat, named Endurance got trapped in ice. The men spent five months camping on an elephant island with minimal resources, trying to stay alive. Then, they traveled eight hundred...more
Becky
I have read Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World three or four times now. The narrative is so strong and compelling, and, yes, even inspiring. It is definitely one of my favorite nonfiction books. And nonfiction isn't something I usually take the time to reread.

Originally published in 1998, Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World won the Orbis Pictus Award in 1999. The book follows "the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance." If you are unfamiliar with this...more
Jens
I'm kind of a sucker for survival stories (but for some strange reason I hate "Lost"). The story of what the crew of the Endurance had to go through to survive is amazing. Being stuck in a frozen wasteland, far away from civilization, and yet surviving an antarctic winter as well as a hurricane is truly amazing. My favorite part: When the crew sleds all the way down a mountain on makeshift sleds so they don't freeze to death. "We must have covered 2 miles in only 2 or 3 minutes."
I went and saw...more
Simon

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, by Jennifer Armstrong, is a captivating adventure memoir of Sir a Earnest Shackleton and his expedition to travel across the hostile continent of Antarctica. In 1908, Shackleton was the first British explorer to come within 100 miles of the South Pole. When he returned to England, he was knighted for he bravery and efforts. Immediately, he became a hero to thousands, and he was determined to return and complete his mission. In 1914 he returns to the South P...more
Claire
I am typically a non-fiction reader so I was really surprised at how much I was entranced in this book - I really enjoyed it! Shipwreck had me on the edge of my seat nearly the entire time I was reading. It tells the story of Ernest Shackleton and 27 men who sailed from England in 1914 in an attempt to become the first team of explorers to cross Antarctica from one side to the other. Their trip takes a turn for the worse when their ship becomes trapped in ice. The expedition survived five gruell...more
Julia
I like the story but I don't like how it was written! What did yo think? I wish we had more to the ending! It was like they were rescued. THE END! What happened after they were rescued? Well their was an epiloge but it was barley any info!
Devery
I can't decide if this book was amazing because the story itself was amazing, or if Jennifer Armstrong is an amazing writer. This is the first informational narrative that I have read cover-to-cover and it may have converted me from the belief that fiction is the end-all.

The story of Shackleton and what he accomplished in Antarctica is truly amazing! I would recommend this book to anybody. What I found the most intriguing was the fact that they not only survived, but found way to pass the time...more
Shawnee Smith
Jennifer's Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World is a surprisingly true story of the survival of 27 men after the devastating destruction of their ship which fell victim to the ice of the Antarctic. Trapped in some of the world's most notoriously harsh weather conditions, the captain of this crew, Shackleton is forced to take on the tremendous responsibility of keeping his men working together towards escaping the clutches of the cold and barren land. It is a touching story, as oppose...more
Marilyn
Stunning! I have feelings for his book like I do for "Unbroken". Every page leaves me speechless and shaking my head trying to wrap my head around the smallest part of their experience. A true hero story of never, never, never, not ever, never giving up. It gives me hope and courage. What an outstanding leader the world has in Shackleton. He leaves me without excuse. I cannot pretend to be a victim with his tale in my head. I'll trust that God will help me along my life's expedition in similar f...more
Danica
This book describes in depth the personal experience of Shackleton and his crew through their journey of starting a trek across the Antarctic continent, to being stranded and stuck for months and how they were able to survive and get home. The stories involved are a lot more personal than that of a regular history manual on the subject, developing personal interests in the "characters" and their happenings. Armstrong gives a vivid picture of the disastrous conditions the men were in, as well as...more
Mary
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World is a nonfiction narrative of the tale of Ernest Shakleton and his crew. The crew was set to travel across the continent of Antarctica but when harsh weather causes their ship to get stuck in the ice, they have to make the journey back home with two small boats and a lot of courage.
This book caught my attention because of two things: 1) It was an exciting adventure story and kept me interested in the characters 2) I was amazed that I had never heard this incre...more
Becky Tucker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margo
Genre: Nonfictional/Informational

Shakleton and his crew were the first to make the trip across the Antartic continent. This book presents thier travels in a narrative format. Photographs of the crew, ships, and living conditions show the impossible odds they were faced with in getting across. As remarkable as it is, they accomplished thier goal and all of them survived to tell the tail.

One thing that was unique about this book was that the ending was told at the beginning. The reader knows that...more
Amanda
Shipwreck At the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong fits into a less-accessible non-fiction genre for Young Adults. While most adolescents (and adults, for that matter), shy away from non-fiction, I found myself wondering why I had never even heard of Shackleton and his crew’s Antarctic Expedition. The below-freezing adventure guided my imagination to a real place filled with obstacles most people have never dreamed of—where the term “Killer Whale” wasn’t just another name for a friendly...more
Devon
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World was a gripping read. It is a mixture of adventure and tragedy as we witness the devastation that the optimistic Shackleton team faced. Completely isolated from civilization and any hopes of rescue, the team struggles to survive as their readers sympathize with them and cringe at their misfortunes. While the story in itself is compelling enough to create successful book, the author's presentation of the material was nothing short of spectacular. Armstrong artf...more
Lisa
Themes: survival, nonfiction, endurance, human spirit

Though I didn’t expect to enjoy this book, Armstrong’s narrative tone and excellent prose dispelled my animosity for it by page ten. Although it’s a nonfiction book, she makes the book feel like a narrative to maintain interest in a real occurrence. It tells the story of Ernest Shackleton, a British man who took an expedition to Antarctica, hoping to travel across the whole continent in that dangerous, alien climate. Things just went from bad...more
Johanna
***REQUIRED***
This fantastic non-fiction novel chronicles the true story of Sir Ernest Hemingway and the crew of the ship Endurance. Using vivid, descriptive language, Armstrong relays how these men survived some of the harshest conditions on Earth after having to surrender their boat to crushing ice burgs. Armstrong also mixes in facts about all things Antarctic in order to help us to better understand what exactly the voyagers were facing.
Although the reading level was low, I enjoyed reading s...more
Holly
I loved this book! Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World is a nonfiction book with an excellent mix of information and storytelling aimed at young adults. The book tells the story of Ernest Shackelton and his loyal crew who set out to Antarctica with the goal to cross the continent on foot. Before they can even get to the continent their ship is stuck in the ice and Shackelton has to change his plans in order for the crew to survive.
By the end of the book I felt very connected to these men who w...more
Allie Randall
Genre/Category: Non-fiction/adventure/heroism

Summary: Sir Earnest Shackleton set off to conquer the most dangerous continent on the Earth, Antartica, by crossing the ice-covered continent from one side to the other. But first, he would have to reach it. This non-fiction book provides a literary perspective to the unreal adventure of Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Before ever reaching land, the Endurance was caught in the ice, frozen hundreds of miles from land, and eventually crushed...more
Cara
May 06, 2010 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya-lit
Once you begin reading this nonfiction historical adventure, you become hooked and can’t simply abandon the story—too much seems at stake. As you read the introduction about the icy and dangerous climate of the Antarctic, and then you read that not only was a British crew stranded there, in 1915, but that all of the men survived, you feel compelled to continue reading.

Once you are engaged in the story, the novel continues to hold onto your interest. It provides enough biographical and historica...more
Lauren Hopkins
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
True Life/Leadership/Endurance/Survival

Armstrong narrates through the terrifying and miraculous true story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew in a sophisticated and entertaining style. The story is that of Shackleton who ventures to Antarctica in hopes of being the first to travel the distance of the continent. However, weather conditions prevent him from doing so and his ship, aptly named the Endurance, eventually gets crushed and sunk by...more
Daniel Asay
The true recounting of explorer Captain "Boss" Shackleton's turn of the century voyage to be the first man to cross the continent of Antarctica and the misfortune that befell him and his crew. After crossing into the thick southern ice flows the vessel, Endurance, becomes trapped in a freeze and eventually tipped, crushed, and swallowed by the ensuing pressure forces. Isolated in one of the world's most extreme environments, captain and crew grapple with hunger, thirst, fatigue, weather, and per...more
Jennifer Peterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Morgan
Genre/Categories: Read for class/nonfiction
Shackleton/Antarctica/ice/rescue/nonfiction

This book is a nonfiction recount of Shackleton and his adventure being stuck in Antarctica with his crew. From journeying to the ice land to becoming stranded on the ice for months to sailing in boats to a new land, the story is never boring. Great pictures accompany the book as well.

This was my second reading of this book, but I still enjoyed it. Something I noticed on the second read was how important and i...more
Brittany Sweeney
This is a tale of survival, a non-fiction account of the shipwreck of the Endurance in the year 1914, only two years after the Titanic disaster. In this story, we follow the experiences of Sir Ernest Shackelton and his crew on their attempt to cross the frozen tundra of the Antarctic, which until that point was still very much a mystery to the world. What makes this story incredible is not what they discover about the Arctic, but what they discover about themselves and their power to survive. Up...more
Selina
Required Reading:
Shipwreck follows the true story of Shackleton and his expedition to cross Antarctica. Armstrong covers something of the history of expeditions to the South Pole so that we, as readers, know where Shackleton falls in history. A few months into their voyage the team is stranded in the ice and eventually shipwrecked as the expanding ice destroys their ship. Incredibly, all of the men survived the wreckage and their following travels in life boats and returned to England safely. A...more
Mary-Jane
The fascinating story of Shackleton's ill-fated journey to cross Antarctica in 1914, just as World War I began. The book has many great pictures courtesy of the ship's photographer. His ship Endurance became locked in ice before reaching Antarctica, drifted north with the ice pack, and was crushed and sank. The crew lived on several ice floes, then eventually manoevred their 3 lifeboats to Elephant Island. Shackleton, the captain Worsley, and 4 other men took the largest lifeboat and succeeded i...more
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Jennifer Armstrong learned to read and write in Switzerland, in a small school for English speaking children on the shores of Lake Zurich. The school library had no librarian and no catalog – just shelves of interesting books. She selected books on her own, read what she could, and made up the rest. It was perfect. As a result, she made her career choice – to become an author – in first grade. Whe...more
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