The Winter Pony

The Winter Pony

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
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An account--from the point of view of a pony--of what it was like to be part of Captain Robert Scott's 1910 expedition to reach the South Pole before rival Roald Amundsen.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385733779
Characteristics: 246 p. : maps ; 22 cm.


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BRD2001 Oct 14, 2013

I loved the way this book was written from the perspective of the pony, James Pigg but, the end nearly left me in tears. I recommend this book but, be prepared for a sad ending

Aug 02, 2012

This is an amazing book. Although written for an adolescent audience, I think this would be a good read for any adult. The author, using the thoughts of one of Scott's ponies, gets right into the feel of the Antarctic cold and terrain as the expedition gives all to the race to the Pole. Interspersed in the narrative are references to Amundsen's progress. I could feel the intense cold, the fear engendered by the killer whales, the huge expendure of effort to plow through snow. I was in the mind of the winter pony throughout, and even though I knew the outcome from having read so much about the race to the Pole, I was still hoping for better.

2907100117823v Jan 30, 2012

What you do know is that this is written from the perspective of a white pony. What you don't know is how compelling that is. After finishing the story, I now look at all animals with keen interest in what they are thinking and feeling.
It is an unendingly sad narrative, yet an absolutely gripping way to learn about the bravest of men and the role animals played in their heroism. I was driven to finish it, to find out if they would make it, and if they would make it back. If you are up to the hardship and the death, if you are ready to go to the coldest place on earth, then get yourself a blanket and start reading. Highly recommended by a BPL staff member.


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SPL_Childrens Jan 19, 2012

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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SPL_Childrens Jan 19, 2012

“I heard the wind rise. I heard it whine and moan. Soon came the patter of whirling snow, and I knew [another] blizzard had begun.”
Born in the Manchurian highlands, the wild pony was captured at a young age by men who subjected him to years of drudgery and cruel treatment. Later, the pony was sold to an English explorer, Captain Robert Scott. For the first time, he was shown kindness and love. He was given a name, “James Pigg”. And then, he was chosen to be part of Scott’s disastrous 1910 expedition to the unexplored Antarctic, a race to the South Pole, destined to be a tale of heart-breaking hardship and tragedy.
Racing against a rival explorer, Roald Amundsen of Norway, Scott used sled dogs and ponies to haul the provisions and equipment that his men needed. It seemed that danger and death waited at almost every turn for the animals and men in the harsh, isolated Antarctic environment – from fierce blizzards and never-ending snow, unexpected cracks and crevices in melting sea ice, ravenous killer whales, snow blindness, frostbite, hunger, and the sheer exhaustion of making such a long journey into an unknown land.
Telling the story of Robert Scott’s expedition through a pony “softens” this captivating story of hardship and danger a little, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than eleven years of age. Why? There are some difficult parts in which men, ponies or dogs die. Author Iain Lawrence’s consummate skill with words makes the tragedies – and the end of the story - so real that it really does require a level of emotional maturity to read this novel.
Having said this, The Winter Pony is an infinitely engrossing, moving and beautifully-written tale for older readers.
An informative, brief third-person summary of the actual historical events of both Robert Scott’s and Roald Amundsen’s expeditions to the South Pole is included at the end of each chapter.


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