The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic

Viking. Jan. 2023. 56p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593117729.
Gr 2-4–The Antarctic continent calls to many with the siren song of its dangerous beauty. Tom Crean is a little-known Antarctic explorer who, in his three trips to the region, battled countless challenges as he attempted to better understand this frigid place. Born in County Kerry, Ireland, to a large farming family, Crean took to the sea to build a more prosperous future. And as the years passed, he found himself in Antarctica time and time again under different leadership, including Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and each excursion tested his mettle even more significantly than the one before. This fascinating biography of an explorer in the early 1900s gives young readers a glimpse at one of the brave individuals who risked their life in the study of the Antarctic. Because Crean wrote and spoke markedly little about his experiences, this book unites the words of other explorers into a cohesive narrative focusing primarily on Crean. This long and complex story is approachable due to the brief and succinct text. Poetic writing blends with watercolor illustrations that embody the limited palette of the Antarctic landscape to provide readers with a unique presentation of Crean’s adventures. The images vary in design and presentation to add dynamism to the narrative, while various supplemental materials are included to aid in readers’ comprehension of the magnitude of Antarctic exploration.
VERDICT This detailed story will support an elementary school curriculum pertaining to global exploration. It’s also something of a thriller.

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