shackleton’s journey




shackleton'sjourneyShackleton’s Journey by William Grill.


Calling all adventurers, seafarers, boys and girls who love to draw! Climb aboard the Endurance. It won’t be an easy journey, but a rich one.

Cold, blue, but full of fortitude, comradery, and icy beauty.









Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first to cross Antarctica. But did you know he also read poetry to his crews to lift their spirits?




This is an account of Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Journey in 1914, 100 years ago, filled with colored pencil illustrations that capture maps and details, white icy space, and fierce blue treacherous conditions equally well.






69 dogs and 28  crew members were aboard the ship. There was also a stowaway!

My favorites?

Crew member Frank Wild, second in command. (Because: Wild.)

Crew member John Vincent, boatswain and able seaman. (Because: title.)

Dog named Bummer. (Because: name.)





Winter arctic ice proved impossible to break. While the Endurance survived, things were pretty good. The men hunted penguins and remodeled their living quarters. They waited and waited but the next October, their vessel’s fate was grim. Now the crew were camped on ice without the shelter of a ship.






Trips in lifeboats, frostbite, blizzards, one perilous journey by six men to sail to Elephant Island to find help. A trip that in total took two grueling years.






A perfect picture book for any would be historian or adventurer. 




Images via William Grill’s website.

I received a review copy of this book from Flying Eye Books; opinions are my own. 


6 Responses to shackleton’s journey

  1. I can’t wait to see this. Crazy story.

  2. Looking good! Library doesn’t have it, so I’ll have to get pushy!

  3. My 5th grader just finished her Humanities Exploration biography project on…Shackleton! When she read through this post she groaned and said “Where was this book a month ago when I NEEDED it?” The spread with the crew members seemed especially interesting and desirable. We will read and enjoy this nonetheless.

    I just want to add my mom’s perspective: fifth graders dressed in costume as their chosen “explorer” presenting dioramas explaining their character’s achievements makes for a fun and exciting Biography Book Fair!

    • Oh man, I’m sorry to hear this book was too late for your daughter! Maybe she’ll feel good when she reads it and already knows everything. 🙂

      Love the biography book fair idea—I say we convert Halloween into a version of that.

  4. Ronna Mandel says:

    I have a different Shackleton book at home which looks so much more daunting to read than the one you shared. I love what you chose to highlight and I loved how the book looked against the wooden floorboards. Another great presentation (I write presentation because that’s how your coverage of books feels to me.) You have such a unique voice.

    • Ronna, it’s very kind of you to stop by here and to say such nice things! The images are from the author/illustrator’s site, but yes, I do try to present picture books as the amazing, artistic, creative, emotional worlds they are!

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.