Marooned in the Arctic : The True Story of ADA Blackjack, the "Female Robinson Crusoe"
Overview - 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. Read more...
More About Marooned in the Arctic by Peggy Caravantes
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.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Caravantes (The Many Faces of Josephine Baker) describes the survival struggles of an Inuit woman, Ada Blackjack, who traveled as a seamstress on an expedition to Wrangel Island, near Siberia, in the 1920s. Blackjack joined four male explorers on the voyage; excerpt from their journals detail how they regarded the womanlargely with a degree of exasperation and puzzlement. Despite greatly missing her son and being terrified of Polar bears, Blackjack settled into her strange new life. When food became scarce, three of the men ventured out to seek help, leaving her with a sick member of the party; after he died, Blackjack kept herself alive, recording her experience on a typewriter before eventually being rescued. Historical photos, contextual sidebars, and extensive source notes round out a fascinating portrait of a young woman who showed strength and fortitude when thrust into a perilous environment. Ages 12up. (Mar.)