Thursday, February 3, 2022

Review: Trapped in Terror Bay by Sigmund Brouwer

 Today's review dives into the realm of nonfiction and history. While this does cover an often overlooked, historical event (which I'm always a fan of), it also takes a slightly different twist by showing what modern science can do to help solve these long-unsolved mysteries. 

Do you see why I couldn't pass up this one?

I was hoping this one might be a treasure for homeschoolers, too. Ready to see if it might be?

Solving the Mystery of the Lost Franklin Expedition
by Sigmund Brouwer
Kids Can Press
YA Historical
160 pages

MAY 3rd!!!

This enthralling and up close tale of the ill-fated Franklin expedition reveals bone-chilling details of what really happened in Terror Bay! In 1845, Sir John Franklin's expedition set sail for the Arctic from England in search of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Not only did they not succeed, his two ships --- HMS Erebus and HMS Terror --- and their entire party of 129 men vanished, their fate a mystery that remained unsolved for decades. In 10 suspenseful episodes, the thrilling tale of that doomed polar mission is told from the points of view of the commander of the Terror and of those back home and the search parties who attempted to find them. Each episode also describes some of the modern-day searches, including the discovery of the lost ships, allowing readers to examine the evidence and consider the theories about what happened. It's a thorough and thoroughly captivating read about an intriguing story from the past.Award-winning author Sigmund Brouwer packs loads of information, including the most up-to-date findings, into this original and engaging narrative. The highly graphic design includes historic photos, maps, a timeline and illustrations plus modern photos. The book highlights the importance of Inuit oral history and knowledge in solving the mystery. It was reviewed by an Inuit interpreter and elder. Sidebars throughout contain fascinating information about how technology and inventions at the time of the expedition brought about social changes, and mini-mysteries from history that ask readers to solve them using forensic science. There are strong curriculum links here to history, geography, Inuit studies, engineering, technology and applied science.



With historic details, maps, and scientific deduction, the intriguing mystery behind the disappearance of two ships and their crews takes on a new light.

Sliding back into 1845, the reader joins the crew of the ship Terror as it departs a port in England in hopes of discovering the Northern Passage along with a partner ship, Erebus. While the reader is the 2nd in command and learns about their own history, that's only a small part of everything disclosed. With background information, surrounding tidbits from other areas, and dives into science, the mystery behind the ships' and crews' disappearance is explored.

This is a book, packed with information, photos, maps and more. It starts with a note from the author, which sets the tone and gives a few hints at what is to be expected. Then, it dives into the material. Chapters separate the various times and themes, helping the organization. The rest is a piecing together of various tidbits from many directions. While it does start out and flows along a type of historic setting, where the reader is the 2nd in command, this is only a section (and by no means the largest) of the book. Blocks of information, set off with different colored backgrounds, give insight into all sorts of information from the backgrounds of those involved, past explorations, events which are tied (sometimes, very loosely) to the expedition in some way or another, political trends, social points, and then...and most science can be used (and is used) to clarify or investigate certain things. In other words, it's a conglomeration of facts and theories from many directions. 

History buffs are going to enjoy this. There are tons of historic treats, which do expand thoughts and the way to view things. For others, this might be a bit of a muddle. There is so much information from so many aspects that it fogs together without careful attention...something not every reader is going to be willing to give. So, this is for a very specific audience, but with that in mind, it is well done and interesting.

The highlight, outside of all the information, is the interweaving of modern science and how it can be used to solve puzzles of the past. This alone opens minds and will help readers get a glimpse at history from a different view. And that's always a good thing. I do recommend this one to young adults, who are interested in historical events and especially to homeschoolers (at a higher level), who want to not only take a close look at this historical moment but see how science and history still come together.

And here he is...

With over four million books in print, Sigmund Brouwer is a bestselling author of books for both children and adults. His novel Dead Man's Switch was the 2015 winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Canada's best young adult mystery of the year. Two of his novels have been finalists for Canadian Children's Book Centre Book Awards. Sigmund lives in Alberta and travels frequently to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation to schools across Canada and the United States. (as found on Kids Can Press)


Rajani Rehana said...

Great review

Heather N. Quinn said...

Fascinating! Thanks, so much, for sharing this one.