Archive | 4:51 am

Keeping cool

5 Jun

We are having a heat wave. It was almost 100°F yesterday and will be so again today. What better way to pass the time, locked in the only room with air conditioning, than by reading about the Arctic.


The title tells you what the book, by Peggy Caravantes, is all about: Marooned in the Arctic:The True Story of Ada Blackjack, the Female Robinson Crusoe.

Goodreads Summary: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 indispensable resource for any young adventure lover, classroom, or library.

Fortunately for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, we won’t have wait as long as Ada for relief. We will be back to normal May temperatures by Wednesday.

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