In pursuit of Antarctic glory

Meredith Hooper's Race to the Pole (Hodder Children's Books pound;4.99) is a fabulously readable account of those historic adventures undertaken by the first polar explorers.

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.

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