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Review: "Shackleton - Antarctic Odyssey," by Nick Bertozzi

Another graphic novel, another gem. The more I read any of these books, the more I like them. Presented in bold drawings, simple and raw, the courage, tenacity and determination of Shackleton comes through on every page. If a young person would not want to read an entire non-fiction book about Shackleton (although this book might inspire one to do so) than this quick read will give you all the basic essentials and several more details to boot. Clearly, of another era and another sort of British, almost stereotypical archetype, Shackleton must have been a hero in every sense of the word if we are to believe this true tale. I would love to have met him, interviewed him, had a grog with him. I can't even imagine the ordeal that these men went through and if there is any failure on the part of these graphic novels its that you lose the extended stories the tiny pieces of character and action that make a history even more intense. The author comments that he needed really needed "three hundred pages, but his hands would fall off" todo the story justice. Within the confines of 125 pages he certainly succeeded. Will this and other graphic novels ever encourage young people to read lengthier books? Perhaps not. Will it inspire them to tackle Jodi Picoult or Elmore Leonard? Hell no. But modern graphic novels are expanding into an ever wider world of history, current affairs and personal issues. If young people are reading, even with pictures, I'm all for it.

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