A Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2017
In 1921, four men ventured into the Arctic for a top-secret expedition: an attempt to claim uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia for Great Britain. With the men was a young Inuit woman named Ada Blackjack, who had signed on as cook and seamstress to earn money to care for her sick son. Conditions soon turned dire for the team when they were unable to kill enough game to survive. Three of the men tried to cross the frozen Chukchi Sea for help but were never seen again, leaving Ada with one remaining team member who soon died of scurvy. Determined to be reunited with her son, Ada learned to survive alone in the icy world by trapping foxes, catching seals, and avoiding polar bears. After she was finally rescued in August 1923, after two years total on the island, Ada became a celebrity, with newspapers calling her a real “female Robinson Crusoe.” The first young adult book about Blackjack’s remarkable story, Marooned in the Arctic includes sidebars on relevant topics of interest to teens, including the use cats on ships, the phenomenon known as Arctic hysteria, and aspects of Inuit culture and beliefs. With excerpts from diaries, letters, and telegrams; historic photos; a map; source notes; and a bibliography, this is an indispensible resource for any young adventure lover, classroom, or library.
About the Author
Peggy Caravantes is a former English and history teacher, middle school principal, and deputy school superintendent. She is the author of The Many Faces of Josephine Baker and more than a dozen other books for middle grade and young adult readers. Her books have been selected for the California Titles for Young Adults, Tri-State Books of Note, and Top Forty Young Adult Nonfiction Books lists.
“[A] fascinating portrait of a young woman who showed strength and fortitude when thrust into a perilous environment.” —Publishers Weekly
"Using diaries (including Ada's) and other notes the five explorers left, Caravantes provides a riveting description of their ordeal." —Kirkus Reviews
“A grim account of survival in the Arctic.” —School Library Journal
“Rush to make yourself acquainted with this dramatic read.” —The Bookbag
“A taut mashup of arctic exploration's Heroic Age and twenty-first century feminism.” —TeenReads.com
"A well-written, well-sourced survival story..." —The Horn Book Guide