[bksvol-discuss] just starting to scan

  • From: "Sarah Van Oosterwijck" <curiousentity@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 12:09:12 -0600

Yesterday I got the book "Ada Blackjack: A TRUE STORY OF SURVIVAL IN THE ARCTIC" by Jennifer Niven from the library. It's pretty big and has illustrations so it will take me a while to get it scanned and editted, but here's the book jacket information to wet your appetite. I know there are Arctic adventure fans on this list, because there was a big discussion about them a while ago.

Ada Blackjack was an unlikely hero-an unskilled 23-year-old Inuit woman with no knowledge

of the world outside Nome, Alaska. Divorced, impoverished, and despondent, she had one focus

in her life-to care for her sickly young son.

In September 1921, in search of money and a husband,

she signed on as seamstress for a top-secret

expedition into the unknown Arctic.

It was controversial explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson who sent four young men and Ada Blackjack into the far North to colonize desolate, uninhabited Wrangel Island. Only two of the men had set foot in the Arctic before. They took with them six months' worth of supplies on Stefansson's theory that this would be enough to sustain them for a year while they lived off the land itself. But as winter set in, they were struck by hardship and tragedy. As months went by and they began to starve, they were forced to ration their few remaining provisions. When three of the men made a desperate attempt to seek help, Ada was left to care for the fourth, who was too sick to travel. Soon after, she found herself totally alone.

Upon Ada's miraculous return after two years on the island, the international press heralded her as the female Robinson Crusoe. Journalists hunted her down, but she refused to talk to anyone about her harrowing experiences. Only on one occasion-after being accused of a horrible crime she did not commit-did she speak up for herself. All the while, she was tricked and exploited by those who should have been her champions.

Jennifer Niven. author of The Ice Master, narrates

After reading this I'm sure winter here in Minnesota will seem extremely tame and boring and no longer very cold. :-)

Sarah Van Oosterwijck
Assistive Technology Trainer

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