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

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,785 ratings  ·  880 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
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Crown (first published November 17th 1998)
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Shannon I was fascinated with the idea that a man who had "failed" in what he tried to do over and over was such and amazing leader and it challenged my…moreI was fascinated with the idea that a man who had "failed" in what he tried to do over and over was such and amazing leader and it challenged my definitions of success and failure! Also, an incredible family read/ listen to! My 3 boys LOVED it and so did my husband.(less)
Yashneil Yes, this is what represents survival skills during hard times

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3.91  · 
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 ·  2,785 ratings  ·  880 reviews

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Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lauren Stoolfire
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew is absolutely fascinating and Armstrong's account does a good job of recreating their survival story. The photos included are great.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was incredible! To be honest the writing was just ok, but the story!! Everyone must read this just to come to know the story! To think that these men endured all these hardships and that they all came back alive and some even returned to try yet again! I just can't believe it. Shackleton is a true hero. He kept those men alive. These men were perfect example of grit. The book is not long and fairly easy to read. Everyone should read to become acquainted with this story because now I find my ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We listened to the audiobook version while we studied the continent of Antarctica. MD gave this 5 stars, she thought the men were brave. CN gave it 5 stars, he liked that Shackleton never gave up. MK liked that she learned from the book. She gave it 4 stars. I also gave it 5 stars. Shackleton was a genius in his ability to improvise to keep his men alive. I especially appreciated his recognizing the help they received from “Providence” and his service (as well as most of the crew’s) in the milit ...more
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not a non-fiction reader, but with this story, I'm a fan. I would love to read it in first person narrative. Or see a movie made from it. Really, truly incredible! I'm going to have my 10 year old read it.
Mar 19, 2019 added it

Book Review for Shackleton

“I had started to walk across the floe, to warn the watchmen to look carefully for cracks when the floe lifted on the crest of a swell and cracked under my feet as I was passing the man’s tent. The men were in one of the dome - shaped tents, and it began to stretch apart as the ice opened… I rushed forward, helped some of the men to come out from under the canvas… the crack widened to about four feet, and… I saw a whitish object flowing in the water.”

Imagine extreme t
Kenzie Pierce
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World details the miraculous journey of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and his crew as they struggle for survival after a disastrous shipwreck in Antarctica. As Britain prepared to enter World War I, Shackleton and his men set off to be the first ones to complete a trek across the continent of Antarctica; unfortunately, the vicious icebergs would prove them wrong. After their ship, the Endurance, became trapped in ice, the crew was initially optimistic.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit
For being a nonfiction account of a historical event, this book is surprisingly engaging and entertaining. Armstrong tells the remarkable story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they embark on a journey to explore Antarctica. However, before they even reach the continent, their ship is trapped in ice and slowly destroyed, eliminating any chance they have of completing their mission. The harrowing and exhilarating tale that follows is the crew's journey home -- and the remarkable feat of bring ...more
Leigh-Ann Borella
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was very drawn out. How many times can you say they were cold and frozen and miserable. We got it. While the story itself was interesting I feel this book could have been over after 50 pages.
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it
In the race to explore the last frontiers on Earth, Sir. Ernest Shackleton leads a crew of thirty-some men to trek across the Antarctic just as WWI begins. Despite thorough preparation, Shackleton and his crew become frozen in the surrounding ice pack before ever reaching the actual continent. Detailing the months trapped aboard their ship, Jennifer Armstrong tells tales of the men’s daily routine, how they stayed sane, their efforts to break loose of the ice,
Elizabeth Preslar
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton."
- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, polar explorer, 1922

4.5 This is a young adult book about Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, an attempt to make the first land-crossing of Antarctica. Much like Apollo 13, the expedition is remembered as a "successful failure".
They launched from Plymout
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Pete daPixie
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Gavin Booth
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Most epic book ever! I disagreed with many of their decisions, but I do not have that kind of experience, but it was still the most awesome and heart wrenching book I have ever read. A great book to read if you are having a bad time, because it is proof you are better off than at least some people. I loved the part when they were sailing toward South Georgia Island in the 'James Caird'. And the heartbreaking moment when Shackelton gets to the whaling station and we learn that 'Endurance's' siste ...more
I was riveted. Between the story itself which is harrowing and kick-ass and the writing, that had a nice mix of text and photos from the mind-blowing expedition that went wrong and right all at the same time that will captivate any adventurous spirit.

I gravitate toward Shackleton's stick-to-it-ness and his survival instinct, his ability to lead and improvise, not take any prisoners, and his tenacious spirit. The quote at the very beginning "For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for speed and
Kira Brighton
Apr 11, 2016 added it
Recommends it for: Educational use
Shelves: read-for-school
This was a required book for my YA Lit class, in preparation for reading WHITE DARKNESS. I imagine in conjunction with that book, or for anyone who is interested in exploration and the Antarctic, it's a good read to try.

I can't say I was incredibly invested in this book, because I'm not generally interested in exploration or the Antarctic or men on boats killing lots of animals, but it told the story well and presented the facts in a way that seemed accurate. Well put-together.

Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014reviews
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
Ollie M.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Tyler R
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book was about Shackleton and his crew moving little by little in the antarctic and getting back to their home. It was a very rough journey, but everyone survived and made it back to their homes. I liked that they showed a lot of the journey and how they got to where they were. It was a very sad moment when they had to kill the dogs and Mrs. Chippy. They had to do it and it showed how hard it was. That is why it was a good book. I would recommend this book to people who like non fiction and ...more
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great read. I never knew of this story in history. Quite interesting and such a crazy story. I can't believe 28 men were all, " Yes. I will go and cross Antarctica!" Crazy people. I guess that is why I am not a explorer. Shackleton is a brave man and I think he was such an interesting man at that. It would have been fun to have met him. Just wouldn't have wanted to be in a ship stuck among icebergs and freezing/starving near to death. Blubber and dog meat isn't exactly on my diet.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a good book. It really explained the importance of leadership and that you should never give up even when all odds are against you. I would suggest this book to older people because it is a day by day kind of story. Shackleton is amazing in this book and when I read this book it makes me want to be like him.
Clay McFadden
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is horrible. I hate it. I would not ever read this boring book again. This is a book meant for a history fool. I think this book is not a good book for anyone who is not a history fool. I would never recommend this book to anyone. This is the worst book in the world. It is way to textbooky. I fell asleep of boredom during this
Jackson E.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all 8th graders.
Recommended to Jackson by: Mrs. Nesmith
I loved this book and how the events turned so quickly. I liked how it was going so well and then all of the sudden it changed to a completely different attitude. I liked how everyone survives and nobody gives up. The only thing I didn't like was how it told you that everybody survives at the beginning.
Teagan B
Nov 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
It was an okay book. There was some very exiting parts, but then it got boring again. It might add that I am not the biggest fan of nonfiction books like this. I am more of realistic fiction person. This book just wasn't very exciting to me. All I have to say is that if you like nonfiction, then you might like this book.
Sarah Cannon
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-420
I absolutely loved this nonfiction account of Shackleton’s exploration. I learned so much and still think about it often even though I read it a few weeks ago. The author did such a great job at blending just the right about of background information with narrative.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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