SOPHIE SCOTT GOES SOUTH is a story inspired by author/illustrator Alison Lester’s trip aboard the Aurora Australis in 2005 as an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellow to the remote Mawson Station in Antarctica. “Every day of the six-week voyage I sent an email to schools and families around the world, describing my experiences. Children drew their responses to my stories and sent copies of their work to me. I used these drawings to make an exhibition called Kids Antarctic Art.”
Nine-year-old Sophie accompanies her captain father on a month-long voyage to transport people and supplies to Mawson Station in Antarctica. We read Sophie’s daily diary as she describes life on the ship, bouts with blizzards, rough waves and the cold, strong wind, her first iceberg sighting and first encounters with a seal and Adelie penguins.
Sophie’s description of her time in Antarctica is detailed, absorbing and one that readers will find intriguing. For instance, “thick ropes linked all the buildings…to stop you from getting lost in a blizzard.” In the middle of the night, Sophie witnesses “a band of light stretched across the sky, shimmering and dancing in front of the stars” — an aurora astralis, similar to the aurora borealis seen in the Arctic.
A remarkable book—seek out a copy for your library. Thanks to @thelittlebookemporium for the recommendation.
Read an interview with Alison Lester on Publishers Weekly where she explains the story behind SOPHIE SCOTT GOES SOUTH and “why she decided to venture to the bottom of the world, and why she chose to chronicle the expedition in a children’s book.”