Shackleton's Endurance: An Antarctic Survival Story

Shackleton's Endurance: An Antarctic Survival Story

By Author / Illustrator

Joanna Grochowicz


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Murdoch Books




Paperback / softback




Adrift on the Antarctic pack ice with no means of escape and no hope of rescue, Ernest Shackleton and his men are surely doomed.  In August 1914, Ernest Shackleton and his men set sail for Antarctica, where they plan to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, his ship, the Endurance, becomes locked in pack ice. Later, it sinks without a trace.

To survive, Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men must undertake a trial even more extreme than their planned crossing of the frozen continent. Their aim is to make it home against tremendous odds, with only lifeboats to cross the heavy seas of the South Atlantic - and the life-saving power of Shackleton's extraordinary leadership skills.

'An incredible true story brought to life in a highly readable style.'- Michael Smith, author of Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer


Joanna Grochowicz's narrative non-fiction brings to life characters and events without skimping on historical fact. While the extensive research underpinning the book is apparent, it is the narrative voice that carries us forward. - New Zealand Review of Books

Amundsen's Way is a thoroughly enjoyable and readable story about some very brave people coping with horrific challenges. It is ideal for making young readers aware of the pleasures of long-form non-fiction books. - Magpies



Shackleton's Endurance: An Antarctic Survival Story is an excellent narrative book rich in historical fact and harrowing in detail about the fated polar expedition to Antarctica where Shackleton and his team of 27 men hoped to cross the last uncharted continent on foot.

The adventure soon becomes a battle for survival as their ship, the 'Endurance', becomes trapped in the ice, forcing the explorers onto the ice flow and into the ocean, onwards towards the slimmest hope of rescue in the brutal polar conditions. Their gruelling journey makes for an exciting but tough read with the author graphically depicting their hopes and fears, exhaustion, hunger and the effects of the extreme cold.

Although Shackleton is the expedition leader, the book describes many of the team characters so the reader feels a strong attachment to them in their troubles. This is further helped by the inclusion of authentic black and white photographs bringing this heroic tale to life.

This is a richly detailed book which, although gripping, requires a mature reading level so recommended mainly to secondary students. Indeed, it is a great book for interested adults and would make a good book for paired reading (parent and student to enjoy together) or a school book club as it gives a wide range of areas for discussion. Recommended 5* read.

304 pages / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


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