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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  ·  1,704 ratings  ·  566 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
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Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Crown (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

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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.
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Ollie M.
Jennifer Armstrong's book, shipper at the bottom of the world is one of my favorite books I've ever read. This story is about 27 men that sail to Antarctica on a boat called Endurance. England sent them to be the first group of men to travel from one side to the other of Antarctica. Then their boat bottom punctures. Then they were left to survive on their own and maybe make it out of Antarctica. To me this is one of favorite books because of the way leaves you wondering almost after every page i ...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
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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
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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
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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
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Dallas Hadley
Category: Required

This narrative non-fiction book follows Captain Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they attempt a voyage to Antarctica. When their ship, the Endurance, become trapped and destroyed by ice, the crew is forced to start a new journey to survive. They spend months walking on unstable, freezing ice floes towards open ocean where they can attempt to sail on small boats to a remote island. From there, Shackleton and a small group sail to find help off the coast of South America. All i
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Taylor Payne
REQUIRED CATEGORY

This non-fiction narrative tells the story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew of the "Endurance" in the early 20th century who set off to be the first to cross the Antartic. The voyage is well planned and gets off to a good start, but is halted when the ship gets stranded in between floes of ice. For some time, the crew stays on the ship and tries to keep things normal. But then, the floes start to crush the ship, and Shackleton makes the heartbreaking decision to abandon the En
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Kelly
CATEGORY: REQUIRED
I enjoyed this book for the most part! It's definitely not a book I would have ever picked out of the blue, but I'm glad I read it. Shackleton, an explorer with more tolerance for cold than I could ever muster, leads an expedition down to the South Pole, with plans to trek across the entire width of Antarctica. However, he and his crew never even make it to shore, instead becoming stranded in the middle of the ocean surrounded by icebergs and no open water to escape into. The c
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Nicole
REQUIRED CATEGORY

The nonfiction YA book recounts the survival story of Shackleton's crew. I knew a little about this expedition but couldn't believe what it entailed. It is a testament to mankind's will to survive and help one another. It is also a fantastic piece on what it takes to be a leader. Also, being a religious person, I appreciated her acknowledgment of the crew's, or at least some of the crew's, feeling that Providence was guiding them along. Armstrong did an incredible job mixing nar
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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
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Jessica
CATEGORY: REQUIRED

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World follows the true account of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica and attempt to cross the continent. When winter hits early and the ship starts running out of supplies, Captain Shackleton has to find a way to keep his crew alive in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. Armstrong takes an interesting approach to the narrative in that she writes the outcome of the voyage at the beginning of the book. The nonficti
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Amy
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World is an inspiring and exciting young adult non-fiction book about the story of Ernest Shackleton and a group of men that tried to sail to Antarctica and become the first explorers to cross the entire continent. Eventually, their ship gets stuck in some ice and the book tells of their story as they survive for five months camping on the ice in severe cold and then save themselves. I was extremely surprised with this books—I expected it to be very boring. I'd nev ...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
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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
Jasmine
REQUIRED READING: NONFICTION
"Shipwreck" is the true story of Shackleton and how his crew survived the Antarctic after their ship, the Endurance, sank. The book tells their story in chronological form, from when they set out on their journey, to their stop in a whaling town on an island at the tip of South America, to their attempt to reach the Antarctic shores. Their ship is completely encased and surrounded by ice before they can reach their destination, and they find themselves at the mercy of
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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
Rachel Lorraine
I love the story of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance, so this book was an automatic draw for me. I enjoyed Armstrong's use of quotes, photography, and other primary source material, as well as her inclusion of details about the antarctic wilderness. She paints a complete and compelling picture of the challenges and hardships of the Shackleton expedition, while still remaining concise and maintaining appropriate levels of emotion and suspense. Well written, and a worthwhile read for anyone int ...more
Hayley Direda
CATEGORY: REQUIRED READING

In being classified as a YA Nonfiction novel, this book was both eerie and otherworldly. The story follows Shackleton and his crew as they voyage into the Antarctic wasteland on a doomed attempt to cross the continent on foot. However, after becoming trapped in the ice, Shackleton is faced with decisions that could alter their course and their chances for survival. Though it may appear to be just another history lesson encompassed with pictures at first glance, this is
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Jace
REQUIRED TEXT

Jennifer Armstrong's book, as stated on the front cover, details "The extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance". The book follows the journey of the twenty eight crew members aboard the exploration ship, Endurance. Captain Shackleton set out to explore Antarctica, and wanted to be the first man to cross from one end of the continent to another. Before the ship is able to land on the frozen land, it becomes entrapped in ice. This book details this voyage from before t
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Allanah
CATEGORY: REQUIRED

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, by Jennifer Armstrong, really is the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance. The non-fiction book tells the story of one man's dream to trek across the Antarctic. Right before World War I, the crew set out on their adventure and despite the rumours of war they were told to carry on and continue their journey. However, the adventure they had planned never worked out and they were forced to suffer through another, more dange
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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
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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
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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
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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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