Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sophie Scott Goes South

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

NFPB 2014

I am so excited to share the nonfiction book I am currently reading and talking about with my students: Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester (published in 2012)

 Sophie Scott Goes South #NFPB2014 There's a Book for That

Because I could rave and rave and rave about this book but I should be writing report cards . . . I have given myself a time limit to convince you to go read it by telling you the ten best things about it. Here goes:

  • This book defies categorization. It is a fictional story of young Sophie Scott travelling to Mawson Station in Antarctica with her father who is the captain of an icebreaker, the Aurora Australis. But it is based on the author’s real experience of travelling to Antarctica. And it is full of all kinds of facts about icebergs, icebreakers, life in a research station, Antarctic animals and the history of Antarctic exploration. I’m calling it an information story book and placing it under the nonfiction umbrella.
  • The visuals in this book are also all over the place in the best of ways – there are Alison Lester’s illustrations, photographs and photographic collages and children’s art that was sent to Lester when she was on her trip.
  • This story is organized like a diary so it is full of all kinds of emotions, reactions and observations and makes you feel like you are really along for the journey. Brrr. . .
  • The illustrations and details about the icebreaker crew and the parts of the ship are so interesting that just one page took 45 minutes to examine and discuss!
  • There is plenty of information about how scientists, engineers, researchers, etc. survive while living and working at a research station from how you must dress to go outside, to how supplies are brought in, to how you travel while on Antarctica (whether by vehicle or how to walk in blizzard like conditions)
  • Oh the animals! Get a sense of what it is really like to see an Adelie penguin, a weddell seal or a killer whale in the wild.
  • This book is a springboard for other learning. It is taking us weeks to get through as we are stopping to read books about penguins, watch videos about icebergs and to look up things in the Atlas.
  • The end pages are full of world maps and details about all kinds of things related to Antarctica:  sea routes, temperatures, ice sheets and numerous other facts about the continent.
  • In the final pages are details of some of the most famous Antarctic explorers and their expeditions.
  • There is a comprehensive glossary in the back where you can find out more information Like . . . some of the technical ship terms if you are not an ocean travel expert (which is the category I fall into = non-expert!). Winches, mooring ropes, bollard. I now know what these things actually are!


This is a must share book!

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 36/65 complete!

13 thoughts on “Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sophie Scott Goes South

  1. I love how you focused on just one book and went into detail about it! This one looks FANTASTIC! I am excited about ordering if for our school library – and of course one for me too! Thanks for the great post! Enjoy the snow and sunshine!

  2. The book sounds marvelous, Carrie. You’ve got to stop finding these books we can’t live without-my library is really growing! There is a new Shackleton book out I just saw reviewed-brr is right!

  3. Pingback: Ocean wonders: twenty nonfiction picture books about sea life | There's a Book for That

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