Saturday, December 29, 2012

"The Impossible Rescue: True Story of Amazing Artic Adventure: by Martin W. Sandler (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780763650803
$22.99 Hardcover


About the book:   The dead of an Arctic winter. Whaling ships full of men, stranded in ice. Follow three rescuers in a race against time - and all odds - in this heart pounding true adventure.

In 1897, whaling in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast was as dangerous as it was lucrative. And in that particular year, winter blasted early, bringing storms and ice packs that caught eight American whale ships and three hundred sailors off guard. Their ships locked in ice, with no means of escape, the whalers had limited provisions on board, and little hope of surviving until warmer temperatures arrived many months later. Here is the incredible story of three men sent by President McKinley to rescue them. The mission? A perilous trek over 1,500 miles of nearly impassable Alaskan terrain, in the bone-chilling months of winter, to secure two herds of reindeer (for food) and find a way to guide them to the whalers before they starve. With the help of photographs and journal entries by one of the rescuers, Martin W. Sandler takes us on every step of their riveting journey, facing raging blizzards, killing cold, injured sled dogs, and setbacks to test the strongest of wills.

My thoughts:  When so very much of our reading takes place in the realm of fiction - young and old, it is refreshing to read a non-fiction accounting of a true adventure involving insurmountable difficulties and incredible hardship and accomplishment. 

In 1897 three hundred crewmen from eight whaling ships were trapped in the Arctic ice and then a winter storm entrapped them further locking them in the throes of ice.  Rescue of the trapped men was ordered by President McKinley, but he would not order individuals to attempt the dangerous mission. However, there were three who volunteered to try. The quick planningof these men is awesome and mind-boggling. Acquisition of and planning for survival gear, means of transportation over treacherous terrain, food for the team and the whalers when they reached them, medical needs, shelter, etc.

Scurvy. Starvation. Sanitation. Sanity. Sheer will. In today's modern world with special equipment and better cold weather wear, this expedition of rescue would be nearly impossible.  But to have occurred over 100 years ago makes it an unbelievably daunting task of determination, perseverance, and skill. This book should be read with awe and admiration.

Working with the native Alaskans, they arranged to acquire two herd of reindeer and lead them across the vast Alaskan ice and snow to reach the stranded 300 men.  The native Alaskans worked wonderfully with the rescue team to make this work by giving of provisions and knowledge. 

The pictures included in this book are wonderful and are possible because one of the team had a camera - though very early vintage in the era of photography.  The pictures are in black and white as was the means of recording photographs of the time.

I recommend this book for middle-readers through adult and know that even readers who do not normally enjoy non-fiction reading will find this book informative and enjoyable.  It is truly an adventure.  Little known but worth knowing about.
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Just enter via the Rafflecopter links below.  (Please be patient as Rafflecopter is sometimes a bit slow to load.) This giveaway only open to USA addresses. Begins December 29 - ENDS January 12 at 12:01 a.m. EST
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a complimentary copy of The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Artic Adventure by Candlewick Press on behalf of the author for the purpose of my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.  Another copy is being provided by Candlewick Press for the purpose of the giveaway and will be shipped directly to the winner by Candlewick Press.

30 comments:

  1. I randomly decided to move to Canada with a friend once for six months. It was pretty cool to experience a different way of life.

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  2. Adventure: Shortly after we were married, my husband and I went on a trip with our roller coaster club to Japan. All of the theme parks and hotels were planned out and a coach drove us to and from each destination. There was one park with several roller coasters that we were interested in but was not on the tour. We took local trains out to the destination. At the destination there was a shuttle van that would take you to the park. The driver of the van kept pointing at the roller coasters on our tshirts and crossing his arms. When we got to the park, the park had been shut for a very long time. There was a tree growing through one of the tracks of the roller coasters. The security guards, however, were very friendly and welcomed us and took us on a tour of the roller coasters inside of the closed park and encouraged us to get up and climb around on the steel structures. Only once we were leaving did we realize that the security guards thought that we were safety inspectors.

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    1. I did not know there were groups that visited and rode roller coasters. How interesting. But the driver was trying the best he could to tell you it was closed when he crossed his arms. But language barriers make it difficult. I assume you still had a good time.

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  3. We lived in Jackson Hole, Wyo. once for 6 years. Once we were in our canoe and decoded to go across Jackson Lake to the mountain side to fish. Well it got near dark before we expected it to, and the wind came up. I had to help paddle and it seemed we moved up one stroke and back two. No way to tell where we were going except we could see one light far off. ( I mean it was really dark and us in a canoe in very deep water) I could just see us landing miles away from our car and having to carry the canoe. Well, I was surprised when we came out not too far from the car. Still don't know how some guys seem to have that built-in radar. I was some scared gal with aching shoulders from using those oars!

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    1. That IS scary and I'm glad no one had to rescue you!

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  4. I had my honeymoon in Jamaica and we had quite the adventure when we left the resort! You have to keep in mind that you are not in America while visiting foreign countries.

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  5. michelle gilliland mcafeeDecember 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    When I was younger I quit my job, took my savings and left everyone I know to move to Tennessee. I didn't know a soul. It was awesome.

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  6. My adventure was visiting the biggest slum in Kenya when my husband and I visited his family in Nairobi. Some of the kids were so scared of me they thought I was a mutant.

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    1. That does sound like an adventure! And I hope you put the kids hearts and minds at ease that you were ot a mutant! :)

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  7. This adventure is funny, its called "How I learned things really do go BUMP in the night". I was about 18 when my Mom and I traveled 2,000 miles to visit my older brother who lived in another state. He lived in beach-type community on Lake Michigan that was made up of A-frame type houses that all had tiny yards and were all close together. My brother was having computer trouble so we decided to drive to the store and get it looked at. We had left the house and were down the road about 1/4 mile when we realized the paperwork was missing, so I told them not to turn the car around and I would just walk back and get it. Now it was 10 pm in springtime so it was good and dark but for much of the way there were street lights so I didn't worry. I had just come around the corner from one street to the next when I heard a little bit of a noise. I slowed down since I had come to a dark spot with no light, I took a tentative step forward when..... BUMP, something big and furry ran into my leg! My first thought was 'OH NO, opossum! Those things bite!'. I turned around and ran back to the car, throwing the door open I said "You are going to have to drive back. Something ran into me back there!". We turned the car around and when we got to the place we saw a tree right across the street and there, staring down, was a raccoon. And that is how I learned things REALLY do go bump in the night.

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    1. Jasmine - that is so funny! I can imagine how fast your heart was jumping at the time.

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  8. I took a month long trip to the desert alone. I hiked and visited several indian ruins, camped out and had a blast, although it was lonely at times

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  9. Wow, some people have had real adventures - I feel like I must live a safe sheltered life after reading about them!

    Let's see - my husband & I went hiking in the Shawangunk Mountains in NY - and it was a very steep climb up some very big rocks but the view from the top was worth it!

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    1. Yes, Teresa, some of these folks have lead an exciting life or at least had one exciting adventure. I am so glad they are actually sharing their adventurous moments in life.

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  10. I was a pioneer in the land of electrical construction back in the "Ice Ages" when it was considered strange and unusual for women to do that...oh, wait, it still is! lol

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  11. No "big" adventures...YET! But I will say that being a stay at home Mommy to two little ones is a bit of an adventure every day!

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    1. Getting up and coping daily in your situation is definitely an adventure. Never know what's going to happen next, what dangers or happiness lurk around the door post. ;) I understand. I had 4 children in just under 6 years and we were quite the busy group.

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  12. My husband and I took a weekend trip to the ocean and explored all along the coast and the coastal town we were staying in. Not very dangerous, but super fun!

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  13. i like A Foot in the Mouth and a kiss like this

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  14. My husband and I explored Acadia National Park - biking, hiking and camping. To us, it was an adventure.

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  15. When flying to visit my brother in Florida, my connecting flight in Chicago was delayed due to weather. The next connecting flight wasnt until the next day. I missed that flight because I was sleeping on one of the benches in the airport. It took me two days of living in O'Hare airport before I was able to catch a flight out of there. I was starting to feel like Tom Hanks in the movie Terminal. LOL.

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    1. When flying from NC to CA several years ago, I missed my Texas connecting flight to CA and it looked as though I was going to have to spend the night there. Then returning from CA to NC, the connections in Chicago were not made because of delays (due to Chicago's famous wind). Again, it looked like I was going to have to spend the night there. As a lady of a certain age, and being rather a non-traveler, I was very fearful. As it turned out, I was able to make the last connection on each leg of the trip. It took many runs to various "gates" hoping to get on a flight. I was so very thankful when it all worked out. I really understand your feeling and so glad it wasn't I who had to spend the night in the airport.

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  16. just spent Christmas in Australia!

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  17. After I graduated from college (about 20 years ago) I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do, so I took a summer job in Colorado. I spent 6 months working on a ritzy resort up in the mountains that had no TV's, phones, or radios and the only way to get there was by train, helicopter, or hike 5 miles. It was quite an adventure and a great learning experience.

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  18. My adventure seems mild compared to others here. My nephew wanted a cars party for his birthday. With times being tough I had to think out of the box to come up with party decorations and such. So I went on an adventure on the highways. I found tires, hubcabs, and other car parts. I got soo many compliments!

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  19. We were able to visit Colorado last summer and got to walk through Garden of the Gods. They even had some 'try climbing' stuff open. The whole family got to rock climb on REAL BIG Rocks.

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  20. I had a 5 1/2 month adventure with cancer in 2011-2012.It was quite a journey but I'm happy to say I'm cancer free.Woo Hoo!! I really would like to read this book.Thank you for the great giveaway! :)

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  21. My life is not as adventurous as some others! I think my greatest adventure was when I quit a well-paying job to volunteer teach at a home school co-op. It was an adventure trying to keep my family going after cutting our income by more than half!

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  22. Going on road trips with 6 kids.. wanna talk adventure? lol

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  23. When my second oldest son decided he might like to go to college in the southwest, I decided I would take him on a mom and son trip. We flew from Spokane,WA into Las Vegas. We rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon and camped overnight in a campground at the canyon. I did say we flew in right? Our luggage was very limated. We had a cooler stuffed with our tent and sleeping bags. Inside our suit cases were a sleeping pad for me and the tent poles along with some clothes for the trip. It was early June in the canyon. During the day it was 90*+. At night the temp dipped down to freezing. Us with cheepie sleeping bags. We ended up our first night after seeing many sights of the canyon almost running into a giant elk! It was such a great experience.
    We saw much of the south rim in our 2 days at the Canyon.
    We then went and toured Northern Arizona University and the beautiful town of Flagstaff. Spent a night there and drove back to Las Vegas. We stayed at the Flamingo Hotel for 2 days free thanks to a nice lady on the Las Vegas message boards that had free coupons for a friend. (Thanks!) We then toured UNLV. It was very hot and sadly then people there weren't that friendly.
    My son ended up choosing to go to school in Flagstaff and just loves it. He has since done a rim to rim hike. Talk about adventure!

    (no rafelcoptor form ever showed up even after re-loading)
    Kristina Sullins
    4 spokane at gmail dot com

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