Into the White
Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey
By Joanna Grochowicz, illustrated by Sarah Lippett
Published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and Murdoch Books, UK
If you’re into happy endings, best look some place else. This story does not end well. This is a story where men die and their dreams of greatness with them. But it is a fine story and one that is worth telling, from heroic beginning to tragic end.
This the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition and the memorable characters, who with a band of shaggy ponies and savage dogs, followed a man they trusted into the unknown. Battling storms at sea, impenetrable pack ice, man-eating whales, crevasses, blizzards, bad food, extreme temperatures, and equal measures of hunger, agony and snow blindness, the team pushes on against all odds.
Will the weather hold?
Will their rations be adequate?
How will they know when they get there? And who invited the Norwegians?
A thrilling story about leadership, resilience and facing adversity with courage, Into the White will leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping against hope that Scott and his men just might survive their Antarctic ordeal and live to tell the tale.
An inspiring story focusing on the successes of Scott’s trip; his team’s fortitude and creativity when faced with disaster, and the scientific advances made as a result of their polar exploration.
Into the White is perfect for students studying Explorers, the Antarctic, Polar Regions, extreme weather conditions, historical aspects to exploration in the early 1900’s. Alongside the factual curriculum areas there are many PSHE areas which are integral to the book and the odyssey itself; perseverance, courage, integrity, team work, kindness, determination, strength.
Working with schools and organisations
Books Go Walkabout are delighted to be working with Joanna and her visits to the UK. Her first visit at the publication of Into the White was in November 2017.
Joanna visited many schools who were originally involved supporting Scott’s attempt at the South Pole and it was enormously pleasing to visit the schools and reignite the original spark of travel, adventure and new frontiers.
Joanna is planning another visit to the UK in 2018, no dates fixed as yet, but likely to be in September at the start of the academic year.
Her success in delivering to students of all ages is shown in the testimonials and comments, which have all praised Joanna not only for the book but for her talent at engagning with the students and being an inspiring person talking about writing, adventure, integrity, team work, courage and Scott’s expedition.
Her testimonials from the UK, below, make great reading. We have included some to give an idea of Joanna’s high level of expertise and delivery.
“Bromsgrove Preparatory School were delighted to welcome Joanna Grochowicz to speak to our pupils about her new book: Into the White. Joanna delivered an engaging talk in our School Museum which houses one of the sledges from the expedition.
All of Year 7 (110 pupils) were able to experience an interactive and enlightening talk about this amazing quest. Joanna’s interpretation of the journey provided a fresh look at the evidence which reframed many of the stereotyped images that are held about Scott and his companions. Far from being a failed venture, the values of resilience and compassion were extoled to the pupils through the talk.
Year 7 had recently been studying weather and climate in Geography and this talk helped to frame their learning about these harsh climatic conditions. In addition to speaking to Year 7, Joanna also addressed all of Year 3.
They were enthralled by the props and slides that made this presentation an event which they will remember for a long time to come. The pupils enjoyed the talk so much that we are using it for our next pupil book club.”
Judith Holden, Principal at Bromsgrove Preparatory School
Felsted Prep School is all about promoting resilience and ambition and what better way to promote these values than a talk by Joanna Grochowicz on her new book Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey.
Whilst the ending wasn’t revealed and the pupils were left, quite rightly, to find out for themselves what actually happened to the expedition in the end, they were entranced into a very different world than their own as the beginnings of the story were explained. Characters were introduced through pupils being dressed up and images on the big screen gave some idea of the size and scale of the challenge.
The reaction to the news that the men ate penguins was in itself worth being there for! Ms Grochowicz had a lovely manner with the children and her delivery was enthralling but realistic to her audience.
Perhaps the greatest testament to the spark she ignited was the fact that my Year 7 son insisted on buying a copy of the book that evening which he is now thoroughly enjoying. If the aim of the talk was to promote the concept of resilience and ambition as well as enthuse a group of pupils to think about adventure then every box was ticked!
Mark Stringer, Head of Year 7 and 8, Felsted Prep School
‘My daughter Olivia Mardon, who heard the author speak at Felsted Prep School recently, was delighted and captivated!”
Sarah Mardon, parent at Felsted Prep School
Joanna Grochowicz visited Copthorne Prep School recently to talk about her new book “Into the White” – the story of Robert Falcon Scott and his Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1910. Copthorne has an historical connection to this expedition as Dr Edward Wilson, a close friend of Scott’s and the scientific/medical officer on the trip, was the brother-in-law of the Copthorne Headmaster at the time, so it was fitting that she spoke to our children about this trip.
She spoke to a large group of children (100+) aged between 9 and 13 for well over an hour. They were captivated by the way she identified and described the main characters and set the scene of an epic journey (undertaken without Satellite navigation systems, mobile phones and technical clothing that we are used to today), in atrocious weather conditions, in previously unexplored regions of the world. She conjured up images of whiteout conditions, -50 degree temperatures, enduring hardship, basic rations, ponies, dogs, sleds, crevasses and frostbite; but also of humour, comradeship, teamwork, adventure and courage.
She led the children through the expedition to the point of discovering that Amundson, the Norwegian had beaten Scott to the Pole and then, left them excitingly hanging there, wanting to know what happened. Of course, although she would not tell – the book explains it all!
I always think you can tell easily how captivated the children have been by the range of questions they ask, and Copthorne children asked so many, we eventually had to end the session that had overrun into the children’s lunchtime.
I can recommend Joanna as an author – I have read the book and it will be a great read for all, but especially boys who will relate to the topics of adventure/courage/heroism/sacrifice etc.
I can certainly recommend her as a visiting author, who will captivate children of all ages (she actually stayed on at Copthorne after lunch to do another session with our Year 3 & 4 children totally unplanned).
Chris Jones, Headmaster, Copthorne Preparatory School
Effingham Lane, Copthorne
Feedback from NZ West Coast schools recently visited as part of the Duffy Books in Homes Role Model programme:
Joanna writes of her New Zealand workshops/developing literacy experiences…
The aim of the Duffy Books in Homes programme is to break the cycle of ‘booklessness’. Kids who can’t read become adults who can’t communicate and that’s a serious disadvantage in a world that operates on the written word.
Duffy schools are selected from areas where the children are most likely to come from bookless homes. The aim of the Role Model assemblies is for notable New Zealanders to visit Duffy schools and talk to the kids about their achievements and goals.
They tell the kids “It’s Cool to Read and Cool to Achieve” and
make a connection between success and reading. When I visited 14 schools on the West Coast in September, I spoke about Antarctica, its environment and the early exploration of the continent.
Parklands School, Motueka
‘Joanna the writer was exceptional her engagement skills were envied by the staff being able to engage
with all the age groups was amazing.’
Barrytown School, Barrytown
‘Joanna was absolutely brilliant she just clicked with the children so much so that one six year old is now
writing a book.’
Blaketown School, Greymouth
‘Joanna Grochowicz was fantastic. The children really enjoyed her.’
Cobden School, Greymouth
‘Joanna was wonderful – really engaged with the students.’
Reefton Area School, West Coast
‘Wayne (Principal) told us that he thought Joanna was the best Role Model they had ever had – go Joanna!’
Runanga School, West Coast
‘Last Role Model Joanna Grochowicz was amazing with the children she was adored by them, her props were great and her energy was contagious.’
Mayfield School, Blenheim
‘Joanna was amazing her timing was fantastic for the school as they were right into studying book writing.’