A sense of immediacy and urgency is achieved by her use of the present tense. The rivalry between Scott and Shackleton - both its positive and its negative aspects - is well conveyed.
"I know that Antarctica has a great grip on my imagination," says Hooper in a short introduction. (The author is currently on another research trip to Antarctica and contributed a feature about the continent in last month's TESPrimary).
Readers in Year 4 and above will be similarly gripped, and flinch as they hear about sledge-dogs being killed to feed other dogs, and donkeys being killed and buried to ensure a supply of meat on the return trip.