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Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story
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Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In the years following the Civil War, -Arctic fever- gripped the American public, fueled by myths of a fertile, tropical sea at the top of the world. Several explorers attempted to find a route to the North Pole, but none succeeded. Bound by Ice follows the journey of George Washington De Long and the crew of the USSJeannette, who departed San Francisco in the summer of 18 ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Calkins Creek Books (first published 2017)
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3.88  · 
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 ·  134 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
theme of the book bound by ice is survival because they are on a "trip" to explore the north pole and it is a struggle to survive
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, ya
Way more riveting than I expected!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Bound By Ice, Sandra and Rich Wallace tell the amazing true story of a band of explorers who set out to find a way to the North Pole. Lead by Commander George Washington De Long, thirty-three men set out on the USS Jeannette on July 8th, 1879. As well-prepared as they were in terms of supplies and crew, there was one thing in which they were utterly unprepared: the maps they based their plans on were incomplete at best, completely wrong at worst. After stopping in Alaska to pick up additional ...more
Laura Gardner
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the fascinating, true story of the Jeannette, a ship that attempted to reach the North Pole in 1879, but instead was caught in ice for 20 months. The men on the ship, including two Yup'ik hunters and dogsled drivers, had to survive unbearable cold, dwindling fuel and food sources and incredible boredom. Eventually the ship sank and they had to travel across the ice and water to try to reach Siberia and safety. Not everyone survived. I was fascinated by this read and loved all the primary ...more
A great middle-grade/high school introduction to polar exploration in general and the voyage of the USS Jeannette in particular. It's a quick and gripping read, and the authors do a fantastic job of highlighting the most important events of the exploration while providing basic context. I especially appreciated the humanization of key people like Lt. de Long, his wife Emma, and certain officers and crew. I would have liked more information about the Yup'ik hunters who joined the expedition, but ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ARC received from the publisher

In 1879, George W. DeLong attempted to travel to the North Pole, spurred on and funded by Gordon Bennett Hr., the own of the New York Herald newspaper. After the Civil War, there was quite a mania for discovering new places, and at the time there was a belief that there was a tropical ocean at the top of the world. Bennett, who liked any news that would sell papers, even if it were false, thought to capitalize on this fervoe with DeLong's trip. DeLong was a seasone
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
George Washington Delong was a navy officer who loved adventure, and was commissioned to lead an expedition to the North Pole in 1879. Other explorers had attempted and failed, using an Atlantic Ocean route. He was relying on a respected mapmaker who (mistakenly) believed one of the warm water Pacific currents would carry them effortlessly to the Pole. Newspaper owners of the day were more than excited to hype the event and perpetuate myths about exotic species and potential lost civilizations. ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Have you ever wondered about the explorers who tried to find the North Pole before Henson and Peary succeeded? This book takes you on an adventure of over two years as the crew of the Jeannette tried to reach the top of the world. In the days after the end of the Civil War, the Navy helped to set up an expedition sponsored by a wealthy newspaper tycoon. The crew packed supplies - including telephone and telegraph wires and electric light bulbs (from Edison himself) - and planned to return within ...more
Valerie McEnroe
This is the story of the failed expedition of the U.S.S. Jeannette to the North Pole in 1879. When the U.S. Navy asked Captain De Long to scout for a missing vessel near Siberia on his way north, he did so, but the delay caused his ship to get bound in ice. The ship remained bound for over a year until it finally succumbed to the pressure. The men had to abandon ship and begin a long trek on foot before switching to boats. The men in the largest boat found a settlement, but the other men were le ...more
Sunday Cummins
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eureka
2017 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children's Book Award. A gripping narrative 5th-8th grade readers will not want to put down. The authors tell the story of Captain George W. De Long's 1879 expedition to the north pole where the crew and ship were trapped by ice for almost two years. Well written. Gripping from the start. Introduction is Captain DeLong watching their ice bound ship sink and then the narrative moves backward in time to before the expedition leaves. Written in short chapters, the story unfo ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is a straightforward account of George W. De Long, the captain of the Jeannette and his crew that decided to set sail and try to make it to the North Pole. Instead, as was the fate of many who attempted at that time, post- Civil War, it did not work out so well and we know so much because of the journals that were kept.

I was particularly engaged with the relationship with his wife who raised their daughter alone for most of their life because it was his fate to be a journeyman. And the
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars. I think readers (middle school age and on up) who are either researching voyages of exploration or just interested in such topics will find the details of the fate of the USS Jeannette and her crew under the leadership of Captain George Washington DeLong engaging and accessible. It's obvious the authors have done their due diligence in researching their topic and in adapting it for young readers. Block print illustrations in black and white, excerpts from crew journals, log books, and n ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's not as in-depth or detail-oriented as adult nonfiction, but it was still a good read. It told the story in a suspenseful, engaging way, and didn't shy away from having to explain the reality of early expeditions (and, potentially, that same reality still applies to modern expeditions too). I liked the authors' note at the end explaining the feeling of actually getting to handle the real items, too -- it's the same way I feel! This is one I would recommend to anyone interested in exploring, ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
A very solid nonfiction arctic adventure. The story is well researched with excellent back matter bibliography, source notes and picture credits. The writing felt slightly clunky, frequently creating questions it didn't immediately answer. (Full disclosure I read this in a bout of insomnia so my recall isn't precise.) I'd probably recommend Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, Armstrong or The Endurance, Alexander first.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, what an adventure! I had no idea how caught up I would get in this story. I love when history is written like this - with enough details to make you feel like you're there, that makes the players come alive and makes me feel connected them. But not too many details to make me feel like it's a drag to get through. This was a fantastic story, and I'll be recommending it to kids who have outgrown the "I Survived" series, but still crave real adventure/survival stories.
Rob Baker
Fascinating adventure story of 19th-century Arctic explorers whose ship is trapped by ice for two years and how they travel through harsh and deadly conditions over sea and land to try to survive. The second half of the book is more exciting and interesting than the first half, but the whole is an engaging and informative narrative.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a story! Despite knowing the ending, the Wallaces create suspense, tension and great pathos in this tragic tale. Outstanding use of primary source materials gives this a very personal look at the event. Research here is outstanding and the book production just as good - and I'm saying that reading the arc! Can't wait to see the finished book.

Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as an adult, but I'm not sure how many young readers would follow the story. There is cannibalism mentioned, and at the end the details of the story get a bit confusing.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Read this with my students. Its fine for young kids, with lots of photos, maps and illustrations, but it felt like it glossed over many details of this incredible story. I'm reading In The Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides, which is a much more in-depth telling of this tale.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an incredible story of trials and hardships and keeping your spirit up. I do not know how anyone survived this tragedy. The captain was instrumental in preserving the journals and history of this fated expedition.
Ed White
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well researched tale of a mission to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s. Beautifully written for a middle grade reader interested in true Arctic adventure.
Arctic Survival stories where not everyone survives are DEPRESSING.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy survival stories. This was a testament to the courage and heroism of brave explorers who boarded Jeanette, the ship on a voyage to discover North Pole. The map they followed was inaccurate.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
True story. Good, sad, funny, inspiring. It does have a sad, but motivating ending. Not for sensitive ears (frostbitten toes found in the snow, dogs shot for food etc.) 13+
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: survival, ya, non-fiction, 2018
Thoroughly researched, but it just was not my cup of tea. I would recommend this for middle school readers and above because of the graphic nature of the content inside.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
very good. couldnt put it down
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Great narrative nonfiction that incorporates primary source pics and diary entries.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Yuck! This book was very dry and very boring!
Leonard Kim
The first half is quite slow. The introduction starts in media res, describing the events of chapter 14 after which, boy, do things get going. The book should have just started there.
Mary Bassett
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420
Bound by Ice was very interesting to read especially after reading Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. Bound by Ice tells the story of George Washington De Long and his ill fated and ill informed journey to discover the North Pole. Leaving in 1879, De Long and his crew of 33 men expected to find tropical islands and warm weather, but instead became trapped in ice floes about 100 miles north of Siberia. After spending a year and a half in the ice, t
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Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster. She succeeded in breaking a gender barrier by becoming the first female to anchor an NHL broadcast. Her books have been named to state and national awards lists, including Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, and Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. She lives in New Hamps ...more