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Ice Country Book Cover Ice Country: One Boy's Adventure in the Arctic with Commander Donald MacMillan

Summary

Comments

Excerpts

Map

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Summary:
   Ice Country is the story of Rusty, a 15-year-old boy who joins the crew of an Arctic expedition in the summer of 1950.
   The crew faces many perils, including violent storms, damaging icebergs and polar bears. While struggling to test new skills against a hostile environment, Rusty struggles inwardly to gain acceptance and self esteem.

   Donald MacMillan was a real Arctic explorer. His work with the natives of Canada and Northwest Greenland spanned 50 years. Between 1921 and 1954, he led 18 Arctic expeditions in his custom-built schooner Bowdoin.
   This historical novel is based on actual expeditions. Readers learn about the eastern Arctic and its natives, and about Explorer MacMillan and those who sailed with him.

Comments:
from a student, age 10, Westbrook, ME:
   "I loved your book.  I thought it was very adventurous and exciting to read.  I find it very similar to the survival stories that Gary Paulsen writes."

from a former Bowdoin crew member:
   "What a great tale!  On more than one occasion as I read along tears came to my eyes… The Umiamako glacier story was written as if you had gone up the cliff with us."

from another former Bowdoin crew member:
   "You did an amazing job in depicting life aboard the Bowdoin with Capt. Mac, identifying the places and the hazards along the Labrador coast, and at the same time developing a fictional story that should fascinate many a young reader." 
Excerpts:

   from Chapter 7, "The Iceberg"

   Barreling southward was an island of ice larger than any Rusty had ever imagined. It was plowing everything aside and to the north. The berg, the ship, all the nearby ice chunks—everything in its path was being forced aside.
   Just as Rusty was about to jump onto the small iceberg to unhook the ice anchor, Captain Mac yelled down at him. "NO, RUSTY, NO!" …
   The million-ton iceberg rumbled like thunder as it approached…
   from Chapter 10 , "Walrus"
   "Tah-koo! Look!" said Etukasuk. "Ah'wik! Walrus!" …
   Etukasuk stopped paddling. …
   Rusty kept going. Nothing tough about these guys, he thought. They looked heavy and sluggish. All of a sudden, his paddle hit something. Out of the water shot a huge walrus, looking angry… Rusty tightened his grip on the paddle and smacked the leathery animal on the head. It began to snort and bellow.
   "Help!" Rusty yelled…
   Before Rusty knew what had happened, the water was alive with walrus. The whole herd was upon him, roaring in anger, churning the water into a frenzy. Suddenly the kayak started to topple over. 
Map of Rusty's expedition

 

Schooner Bowdoin photos
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