Mystery in the Frozen Lands, by Martyn Godfrey (2015, Lorimer) $12.95, ISBN: 9781459408425
Recommended for ages 12-16
It’s 1857, and teenager Peter Griffin joins a sea mission to solve a world-famous mystery: what happened to his uncle, Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Franklin and his crew of 128 men had sailed from England twelve years earlier in search of the Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Mysteriously, the entire Franklin expedition disappeared without a trace. Subsequent expeditions have yet to recover any of the ship’s crew or discover what happened; Peter signs on to be ship’s boy for the latest expedition, hoping to solve the mystery. Mystery in the Frozen Lands is Peter’s fictional journal.
Based on true events and real people, Peter’s fictional first-person account brings this Arctic adventure to new life. His journal details the long, dark days cooped up on the ship, the ever-present dangers lurking in the forbidding, icy landscape, and the sadness that he and his shipmates experience as they come closer to realizing the Franklin and his crew’s ultimate end. The book includes an introductory background on the 2014 discovery of the wreck of Franklin’s HMS Erebus, a timeline of events, and additional resources for readers.
Lorimer’s Hi-Lo Readers are excellent for readers who are ready for deeper material. The books are over 100 pages, but the storytelling is accomplished with direct sentences that maintain a vivid level of description and information. Give this one to your historical fiction fans and watch them tear through it, then show them this Daily Mail article, which identifies through facial reconstruction, a member of the Erebus crew.
Canadian author Martyn Godfrey died in 2000, but lives on through the annual Martyn Godfrey Young Writer’s Award presented by the Young Alberta Book Society, through the Albert Weekly Newspapers Association.
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